Intuit, a global provider of business and financial solutions, plans on delivering a more personalized tax-filing experience for its customers this year. By incorporating AI-driven technology and machine learning processes into their TurboTax software, they will be able to sort and analyze data from more than 80,000 pages of US tax requirements.
Customers looking for tax relief under the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program – one of the most commonly used tax credits for American households – can trust TurboTax to automatically adjust allowances based on key factors like filing status, total income, and family size. Subsequently, other factors are then figured into the calculation based on a customer's earlier answers. Considerations like how many tax-qualified dependent children can impact a family's size are then brought into the equation.
Intuit is aiming to cut through the confusion and make filing taxes a more convenient and confidence-inspiring event for its customers. Aptly named the Tax Knowledge Engine (TKE), they will use the tech to help DIY customers identify missing information and errors in their income tax filings. In addition, customers can use the algorithm to explore certain tax scenarios in more detail based on interactions between the customer and the software.
"By allowing the user to ‘drill-down' as long as the tax logic and computation allows, the explanation process becomes more effective. This capability is reflected in the unique feature called ‘ExplainyWhy’ in TurboTax Online, where the user can drill down as much as they want to learn more about tax filing,” stated a March 2019 Intuit blog article.
Intuit reported friendly fourth-quarter revenue growth of 15 percent in late August. They outperformed market expectations in a typically slower-moving quarter for the company and prices briefly up ticked along with investor optimism in the first week of September. Strong growth was seen in their small business and self-employed group with a 15 percent surge in revenues to $905 million.
Their online ecosystem revenues jumped up 35 percent to $459 million – US-based subscribers increased 25 percent to over 3.4 million during this time while international subscribers saw an impressive 58 percent swell in numbers to 1.4 million. Intuit finished off their year with $6.78 billion, up 13 percent. An adjusted EPS was $5.89 which came in 16 percent higher than last year’s earnings.
More recently, Intuit found themselves embroiled in a scandal after news of a TurboTax-related lawsuit hit the media on Friday. Stocks nosedived after California’s Santa Clara County filed a claim alleging that Intuit engaged in “egregious false advertising” that misled customers into paying for tax-filing services that should have been made freely available to them. The county is suing on behalf of their constituents, stating that “through predatory and deceptive actions, Intuit has made hundreds of millions of dollars in unfair profits on the backs of California taxpayers.”
The company is disputing the allegations and issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit: “Intuit is committed to offering free tax preparation services as demonstrated by more people filing their taxes for free with TurboTax than all other tax prep software companies combined. When Intuit has an opportunity to respond to these allegations in court, it will be shown that Intuit has at all times been clear and fair with its customers.”