Honestly: go off, IRS.
Thought AI was only being used to eliminate the jobs of the working class? Sounds like maybe it's going to be used against the wealthy for a change.
In a Monday press release, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that as part of a renewed effort to ensure fairness and crack down on lawbreakers, it'll start using "cutting-edge machine learning technology" to stop the US' wealthiest individuals and corporations from cheating on their taxes. According to the IRS, it'll use AI to find inconsistencies across a number of tax sectors — including "partnership tax, general income tax and accounting, and international tax" — in what it says is a "taxpayer segment that historically has been subject to limited examination coverage."
The AI integration is part of an effort to "ensure the IRS holds our wealthiest filers accountable to pay the full amount of what they owe," IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said in the release. The IRS is "deploying new resources towards cutting-edge technology," he added, "to improve our visibility on where the wealthy shield their income and focus staff attention on the areas of greatest abuse."
Lest you're worried about the tech being aimed at the poors, the release says the "groundbreaking collaboration among experts in data science and tax enforcement" will focus primarily on taxpayers with an annual income of over $1 million and more than $250,000 in tax debt, in addition to large corporate bodies.
And according to the IRS, the crackdown is already on the verge of getting started. By the end of September, the release says, the IRS will "open examinations" of "75 of the largest partnerships in the US." These partnerships will include "hedge funds, real estate investment partnerships, publicly traded partnerships," and "large law firms," among other ventures in various industries. On average, according to the IRS, these partnerships retain more than $10 billion in assets — an eye-watering sum that apparently makes the partnerships ripe for the AI sleuth's digging.
It's a fascinating application for AI, as long as it actually gets results. The IRS is keeping specifics about the system pretty close to the vest, but it's pretty widely agreed that one of AI's strongest use cases tends to be pattern recognition. Massively deep pockets can make it easy, or at least easier, to obscure and subvert tax law; if the IRS' new system is indeed able to sift through those layers of obscurity, it could well be an effective means of both catching current offenders and dissuading future transgressions. As the saying goes: the bill always comes due.
More on AI-assisted money collection: Cursed New AI Calls Debtors to Hassle Them for Money
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