Although tax season is still several months away and giving Uncle Sam his cut isn’t necessarily on most people’s minds right now, one of the largest tax preparation services is taking steps to simplify the tax filing process — with an assist from artificial intelligence.
Intuit, the company behind popular tax software TurboTax, has announced a new generative AI tool called Intuit Assist. The AI tool, intended primarily for small entrepreneurs and business owners but available to anyone, is designed to give those users the same leverage as large corporations when it comes to taxes.
Starting today, the tool will be available in a limited version in the TurboTax app with plans to make it available in other Intuit products in the coming months. While Intuit Assist should be fully available by January 2024, the fact that the extended tax deadline for 2023 is a little over a month away means there’s still some potential use for this new AI tool now.
What will Intuit Assist do? Right now, it can help with small tasks like generating a personalized checklist to get ready for tax season based on a user’s input. But closer to the beginning of next year, it will be able to connect to Credit Karma and Quickbooks (both Intuit products) where it can help people better understand their specific financial situation and make smarter decisions when tax time comes.
In short, the AI is designed to reduce time spent filing taxes, increase accuracy, and maximize the user’s tax return.
Once the final version is rolled out, customers should be able to get fast answers to complicated questions, Intuit wrote in a post announcing the AI assistant. “Intuit Assist will augment tax experts’ knowledge with fast, personalized answers based on aggregated, data-driven insights, reducing the time spent searching, finding, and synthesizing responses for customers.” When needed, the AI can connect the customer to a real human for further assistance.
In addition to tax assistance, Intuit said that Assist would soon provide marketing help on its Mailchimp platform, including creating campaigns around a company’s branding, targeting a specific audience, and measuring an email campaign’s effectiveness.
Of course, connecting an AI assistant with your sensitive financial information is going to be an immediate concern for some people. It was just a month ago that Zoom found itself tangled in an AI privacy mess. Intuit offers a “Responsible AI” page that walks users through how artificial intelligence is used in their software. But is it enough to make customers comfortable?