H&R Block Launches Latest Tax Prep Innovation – TaxEdge by H&R Block
Mobile app serves freelancers, self-employed, others in new shared economy
H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) has unveiled a new mobile app – TaxEdgeSM by H&R Block – that combines the expertise of assisted tax preparation with the power of cloud computing to assist one-third of today’s workforce who freelances, ride-share drivers or others who take part in the new shared economy or those self-employed such as real estate agents. TaxEdgeSM by H&R Block will be offered exclusively this tax season to users of Everlance and Hurdlr, both technology leaders in tracking and reporting income and expenses for freelancers. TaxEdgeSM by H&R Block could be released more widely next year.
“We are releasing a new tax preparation experience that leverages H&R Block’s unique assets: our human tax experts and our deep data,” said Jason Houseworth, chief innovation officer at H&R Block. “Data, human expertise, and technology all combine to form a powerful combination that ensures clients don’t just get their taxes done, they get their taxes won.”
Millions of taxpayers have self-employment income. With the TaxEdgeSM app these taxpayers do more than upload some documents, answer a few questions then hope they get all the tax deductions they are entitled. Instead, TaxEdgeSM combines the convenience of today’s mobile apps with the personal touch and expertise of a veteran tax professional.
“This is about extending our tax expertise beyond the office environment,” Houseworth said. “Our expertise now comes in a variety of forms – not just in working with our tax professional. It also includes the benefit of being able to analyze millions of tax returns and provide the client the most accurate tax return.”
One clear “edge” in TaxEdgeSM is the fact clients have direct access to a tax professional. This centralized team of tax experts will be housed with a client service professional who serves as a tax concierge for TaxEdgeSM clients.
Creating an EDGE in tax prep
The tax preparation service is integrated into the apps of the current partners – Everlance and Hurdlr – where the clients’ mileage and business expense data is collected throughout the year. That information then integrates seamlessly into the TaxEdgeSM app. Clients then work with an H&R Block tax professional chosen for their unique situation to complete and file the return – all at a fraction of the cost of going to other assisted tax preparation brands.
“Everlance is thrilled to partner with the leader in assisted tax filing,” said Alex Marlantes, CEO and co-founder of Everlance. “Our users want a mobile-first solution and the combination of Everlance and TaxEdge is the natural evolution of moving from paper to a digital world. Our users have independent income and more complex tax situations and can really benefit from working with a tax expert from H&R Block.”
According to Houseworth, consumers with a typical Schedule C tax return pay a tax preparer an average of about $500. H&R Block’s data analytics combined with a tax expert help ensure clients don’t miss deductions. Houseworth says TaxEdgeSM by H&R Block’s $199 price point to file both a federal and state tax return is a value consumers should not pass up.
“Seamlessly integrating Hurdlr with TaxEdge brings tremendous value to our customers. They simply don’t have time to meet in person. They are on-the-go entrepreneurs who are busy earning and don’t want to do their own filings,” said Raj Bhaskar, chief executive officer at Hurdlr. “Plus the data shows they save a lot more when leveraging a professional.”
TaxEdgeSM by H&R Block and an H&R Block tax professional do the work to help clients get their taxes won.
“Imagine having a friendly tax genius in your corner who can use analytics based on millions of tax records to find savvy strategies that give you better results,” Houseworth said. “TaxEdge is an app designed to be similar to a messaging app. It loves to simplify what consumers hate about taxes all year long. It is like texting a trusted friend who understands you, knows how to get you more, and charges you less,” he said.
“Although this is using cutting ‘edge’ technology, we are still building a connection and relationship with the client,” Houseworth said. “We know these clients are experts at what they do and running their business, but they are not experts in taxes. That’s why they turn to us.”
To download TaxEdgeSM by H&R Block visit the Apple Store.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at http://newsroom.hrblock.com/.
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