Microsoft Teams With H&R Block For Third Straight Tax Season

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 23, 2002 — For the third consecutive year, Microsoft Corp. has joined forces with H & R Block to create the MSN®
Tax Center, offering consumers the ability to prepare and file their taxes online at CNBC on MSN Money ( . With more than 440 new tax law changes and current economic uncertainties, the MSN Tax Center offers consumers a comprehensive selection of convenient, easy-to-use tools to help them simplify their taxes and better understand their financial situation. The following solutions are now available:

  • Prepare and file online at CNBC on MSN Money. Consumers now can quickly and securely file state and federal returns online through H & R Block, and receive 12 free months of bill pay from MSN.*

  • Read up on the latest tax law changes. Filers can review this year’s tax law changes, along with unique insights from CNBC on MSN Money experts.

  • Simplify tax preparation with the Tax Estimator and Deduction Finder. Updated to reflect the new tax law changes, the Tax Estimator gives consumers an early read on their taxes, and the Deduction Finder helps maximize returns.

  • Work online with an H & R Block tax professional. For consumers who want additional guidance, CNBC on MSN Money connects them with an H & R Block tax professional to complete and file their 2001 return via the Internet. CNBC on MSN Money also can help users find the nearest H & R Block office.

  • File with H & R Block’s TaxCut 2002 and Microsoft Money 2002. Users of Money 2002 can easily import relevant financial information into TaxCut 2002, providing them with access to expert tax tools, services and information from H & R Block. When they acquire TaxCut, consumers can receive a free copy of Money 2002 with a mail-in rebate.**

Regarded for its intuitive navigation and easy-to-use tools, MSN offers a comprehensive array of tax tools and services to provide today’s consumers with an alternative to the traditional pen-and-paper method. With CNBC on MSN Money and Money 2002 software, Microsoft offers consumers a wealth of resources designed to reduce the paperwork and simplify the process of filing tax returns, including expert insight and articles, helpful tips, calculators, step-by-step guides and more.

“MSN is taking some of the pain out of tax time, making the filing process easier by helping consumers understand their tax implications and overall financial situation in these uncertain times,” said Chris Jolley, director of marketing for CNBC on MSN Money. “Microsoft and H & R Block offer consumers the most useful and comprehensive combination of tax resources available, no matter what their preferred filing method, and drastically reduce the time, money and anxiety spent on tax returns.”

MSN Takes Confusion Out of Preparing 2001 Returns

CNBC on MSN Money offers everything tax filers need with a host of useful tax resources, including powerful tools such as the Tax Estimator and Deduction Finder, Tax Calendar, Tax IQ Tests, downloadable Internal Revenue Service forms and detailed information on tax law changes. Consumers also can seek guidance and review money-saving tax tips and articles from Jeff Schnepper, renowned tax attorney, CNBC on MSN Money financial expert and author of the best-selling book “How to Pay Zero Taxes.”

“The economic turmoil of 2001 resulted in significant savings losses and left many people contemplating their finances, including stock, mutual fund and 401(k) investments,” Schnepper said. “With the new tax laws further complicating the financial picture, resources that help reduce the time and effort taxpayers spend getting their finances in order, such as CNBC on MSN Money and TaxCut, will prove invaluable.”

Money 2002 integrates with TaxCut from H & R Block and other tax software programs to automatically import relevant financial data and make organizing, preparing and filing tax returns easier than ever. In 2001, H & R Block served 19.2 million taxpayers — more than any tax or accounting firm — through its more than 10,400 offices located in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

About CNBC on MSN Money

CNBC on MSN Money, located exclusively on MSN, is a complete online personal finance service that combines the award-winning finance tools and content from Microsoft, the worldwide leader in software, with exclusive investment news and analysis from CNBC, the world’s most popular financial cable news network. CNBC on MSN Money empowers consumers to easily complete a wide range of everyday financial tasks, such as paying bills, viewing account balances, tracking investments, planning for retirement and staying informed on the latest financial news — in one convenient place online, any time, any place.

CNBC on MSN Money enables people at all levels of experience to take control of and feel comfortable with their finances, helping them make smart financial decisions. Leading industry publications, including Barron’s, Forbes Magazine, Money Magazine, PC Magazine and PC World Magazine, consistently applaud the sophisticated personal finance tools and information from Microsoft. The service is available at or , or by visiting MSN at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* Complete details on the rules and restrictions can be found at .

** Actual retail prices and rebates vary. Certain rebate offer restrictions apply. See packaging for offer details.

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