the tax administration’s AI is floundering

the tax administration’s AI is floundering
the tax administration’s AI is floundering

The artificial intelligence used by tax services to detect undeclared pools from satellite images has a high error rate of around 30%.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now being used in the fight against tax fraud, in particular to identify undeclared swimming pools. If the objective is laudable, the system has limits. CGT Finances publique denounces an error rate of 30% in detections.

Detecting undeclared swimming pools: AI stumbles over nuances

How does this device work? An algorithm analyzes the satellite images to identify bodies of water with characteristic hues. A method that is a priori infallible, but which stumbles over unsuspected details. The AI ​​would leave itself like this fool by innocuous elements such as parking spaces for people with reduced mobility or tarpaulins used in agriculture.

Worse, artificial intelligence would have difficulty distinguishing between taxable swimming pools, built in a sustainable manner, and demountable structures, exempt from tax. Conversely, some basins colors too dull to be detected would go under the radar. Result : thousands of questionable tax reminders issued each year.

A wave of complaints

With almost 30,000 disputed files according to the CGT Public Finances union, the Tax Department is overwhelmed by complaints linked to AI errors. To the taxpayers ofprovide proof that the system incorrectly assessed their case, a tedious exercise. Worse, some fear that complaint letters left unanswered after six months are simply classified without further action by the tax authorities…

If Prime Minister Gabriel Attal wishes to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence within administrations, voices are being raised to demand more vigilance. While waiting for the development of more efficient tools, confusion risks continuing to the great dismay of public finances… and swimming pool owners!

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