How Tax Agencies can use Big Data

Tax authorities these days face challenges across the board, but recently tax evasion, fraud, insufficient taxpayer compliance and data overload are the main topics addressed by international media. With the availability and sourcing of data and information, more and more, people and organisations believe in data analytics to gain value out of Big Data.

Since increasing data volumes are available for tax agencies they must consider new ways , to analyse this data and to address the challenges it brings.

The volume of data produced in recent years could possibly be described as an ocean of data and to look at the analytics, as searching for ‘fish in a big ocean!’ The tax inspectors are searching out these ‘fish’ (pieces of data).

The need for tax inspectors to understand analytics is mandatory and a valuable skillset needed by governments and assess and also, to identify the answers to some of the following questions:

  • What data sources are available to address key issues, such as tax evasion?
  • What interfaces are required to update the data on a regular basis?
  • What are the costs of having the data available in comparison to the potential tax recovery?
  • How can the available data be merged to address specific needs e.g. auditing requirements?
  • What are the hidden relationships between corporate and individual taxpayers?
  • How can the data be visualised?
  • How to support risk assessments and taxpayer creditworthiness in data processing?
  • Does the data also support digital foot printing to generate taxpayer profiles?

The questions above are indicative and reflect only some of the potential topics that need to be addressed and the requirements with regards to legislation. Nevertheless, the answers to the given questions are not easy to give as special analytical skills and tools are required to retrieve the business value out of the available data to tackle the challenges and to meet the information needs.

Although a variety of tools have been around for some time, the way in which public sector organisations are using these systems is changing. Developments in mobility and cloud computing, together with improvements in communication infrastructures and data security means that tax officers can now access Big Data anytime and anywhere.

In the context of tax authorities, for example, it’s now perfectly feasible to equip field-based tax officers and remote compliance inspectors with real-time information – making their jobs more efficient, and improving overall job effectiveness. Office-based tax officers can now visualise and drill down into a much deeper range of data more quickly and efficiently than ever before. The technology enables them to analyse taxable operations based on a larger volume of tax returns, external information and a variety of other detailed taxpayer data in real time.

Invenio’s Public Sector practice is uniquely placed to offer a rapid, efficient and cost effective deployment of SAP Tax and Revenue Management solutions. Invenio helps Tax Agencies to create a stable foundation for the entire tax management lifecycle across all tax types to aid efficiency of the entire collection process. SAP Fraud Management has been designed as a platform solution to prevent fraud and non-compliance in various areas tackling the large volume of tax related data. The analytical tools and reporting capabilities enable tax authorities to gain value from the processed data to increase recovery rates on a wider scale. For more information, please contact us.