Tax audit: have the new tools developed by Bercy to track fraudsters been proven?

Cross-referencing of information, aspiration of data from social networks, detection of undeclared swimming pools… the tax administration relies on artificial intelligence to guide its controls. But where are his experiments launched for 2 years?

The General Directorate of Public Finance is carrying out several projects at the same time to detect fraud and target controls using artificial intelligence (AI) and data mining. In 2021, 44% of checks have already been initiated thanks to AI and Bercy intends to reach a rate of 50% in 2022.

On the occasion of the publication of its activity report for 2021, on June 21, 2022, Jérôme Fournel, its director, gave a quick update on the experiments in progress, taking care to recall that there is always a human to make the decision to control a taxpayer.

Use of social media data

The announcement of the use of public data collected on social networks, and in particular the photos published there, caused a stir when it was announced in November 2018 by Gérald Darmanin, then Minister of Action and Public accounts.

But the experiment could not begin until 2021. It was in fact necessary to first obtain the green light from the Cnil – which set up safeguards and limited its use to the detection of the most serious frauds – then the authorization of parliamentarians granted at the end of 2019 and finally a decree, published in February 2021.

Experimentation is authorized for three years but with the obligation to report to parliamentarians. The General Directorate of Public Finances will submit a report to Parliament within a few months, announced the Director of Public Finances.

Innovative land

Another experiment, this time based on photos and aerial views from the IGN, Bercy uses algorithms to detect swimming pools and other constructions that have not been declared by their owner. This will allow the tax authorities to speed up the updating of the value of the properties retained for the calculation of the property tax and the housing tax, this tax disappearing only for main residences but not for second homes. .

The experiment launched in nine departments in October 2021 will extend into 2022, announced the director of public finances. The DGFiP should also soon present an initial assessment of the system.

The creation of a data lake

Another innovation launched in 2021, the DGFiP set up the constitution of a “data lake”, in other words an IT warehouse which will eventually include all the data held by the DGFiP. This will be fed by the various computer applications of the tax administration. Centralized in this way, it will be much easier for him to cross-check and use the data to identify inconsistencies and detect errors and fraud.

In its activity report, the DGFiP delivered the first results of this work concerning real estate transactions: it identified under- or overvalued transactions and recalled more than 2.7 million euros.

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Tax audit: have the new tools developed by Bercy to track fraudsters been proven?

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