H&R Block’s use of IBM’s Watson technology this past tax season is only one sign of the increasing involvement of artificial intelligence in tax preparation, with even Big Four firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers making major investments in AI for servicing their tax clients.

PwC recently released a report on the use of AI and machine learning in tax analytics. According to the report, AI tools will effectively become digital “assistants” that could potentially replace the basic capabilities of first- and second-year tax associates. Machine learning is already being used to identify historical patterns of information to automatically suggest certain tax adjustments to tax professionals.

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