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Published on March 12th, 2017 | by David Morales

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Financial Report: Tax Tips with H&R Block and IBM Watson

H&R Block is a service that helps their customers with financial planning and products all year around. This tax season, the Director of H&R Block New Client Experience, Meg Sutton joins The Hype magazine in a discussion about the stressors of tax season and shares a few financial tips. Her expertise in financial services details a new plan to help save money. The fear of tax season is real! In fact, the IRS reported about 21.5 million Americans wait until the last week to file. This is a coping mechanism in most cases.

Let’s face it, tax time isn’t exactly a favorite time of the year for everyone. But, knowledge is the key to success! According to Sutton, the most common mistakes are not claiming available credits, filing the wrong status and even simple math mistakes. All of which could mean you won’t get the most money back on your tax return. That is why Meg Sutton joins The Hype magazine via satellite to share how one-on-one sessions with tax professionals are being customized more than ever before to best suit your individual tax needs.

What are some common mistake people make when they file their taxes?

There are three really common mistakes that people make. The first is picking the right filing status. This is a situation like if you are a single mom and have one child. Maybe you are filing single. If you file Head of Household, you could save extra money. Also itemizing is a great tax lever. Finally, making sure that you get all the tax credits that you are eligible for. If you gave to charity last year, make sure you bring in that receipt so you can get the charitable deduction benefits.

Could you tell us about the most overlooked tax breaks and how we could be missing out on a lot of money?

This is why we are so excited to be partnering with IBM Watson this year. Because there are overlooked deductions and credits, we want to make sure our clients get every deduction and credit that they can. So, a couple examples of these would be the education credits. If you are in the first four years of higher education, you can often claim the American opportunity credits. But also there is the life time learning credit. So, if you are going back for additional education, or you are just taking a couple of classes at your local community college, you can use the lifetime learning credit on your return. Finally, only about one and five who are eligible for the earned income tax credit actually take it.  This credit can mean thousands of dollars for low to middle income families.

You mentioned a partnership with IBM Watson to improve client experience. Can you tell us more about that?

We are rolling out our partnership with IBM Watson this year, which is a first in the tax preparation industry. Watson has revolutionized oncology and now has moved into music. Now we use Watson to take our user experience to the next level. Watson can understand context, can draw connections and assist the tax professionals in ensuring every deduction and credit is found. This is a combination of Man and machine giving you the best tax outcome.

How does this new offer help to save money?  

Consumers have told us that they want tax preparation to be transparent and for it to lead to the best tax outcome. So, H&R Block powered with IBM Watson is saving our clients’ money by finding those credits and deductions that happened in their lives last year, and bringing them to life on their own monitor within our offices. In addition to filing last year’s return for them, we also look to the future through our tax tips in providing information on how our clients can continue to save down the road.

Where can we go for more information?     

For more information, you can visit us at hrblock.com



 


About the Author

David Morales is an Executive Editor for The Hype magazine. He is a graduate of Eastern Michigan Universtiy. David has a background as a writer, blogger, drummer, and in the human services industry. He is passionate about helping others, learning and has a deep empathy for the creative process. You can follow his social media @dcypherstudios



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