French tax authorities have used artificial intelligence to search for undeclared private pools from aerial images. As a result of the checks, the owners were issued fines totaling about 10 million euros, writes The Guardian.
Developed by Google and Capgemini, the system can identify pools in aerial photographs and compare them with land registry databases. As a result of the experiment, she identified 20,356 unregistered objects.
According to regulators, any changes to property, including the addition of swimming pools, must be declared by citizens within 90 days of completion. A typical 30 sq. m implies an additional fee for the owner of about 200 euros per year, experts noted.
Currently, the tax service is considering using the system to detect undeclared outbuildings, verandas and permanent terraces.
“We are especially focused on extensions to the house like porches. But we need to be sure that the software can find buildings with a large area, and not a dog kennel or a children's playhouse,” said Antoine Magnat, deputy general director for public finance.
According to technical group of the tax authorities, they cannot yet distinguish an extension from an awning, terrace or tarpaulin on the ground. The software error is 30%, they added.
In April 2022, it was reported that artificial intelligence mistook solar panels for swimming pools, and could not find taxable outbuildings hidden behind trees or in the shade.
According to the developers, they are conducting tests to improve the technology.< /p>
“This is our second round of research and will also allow us to check if the property is empty and should no longer be taxed,” Magnant added.< /p>
A pilot project to identify undeclared real estate was launched in 2021 in nine French departments. In 2023, they plan to expand the system to the whole country, as well as increase the number of detected objects.
Authorities expect that the technology will help increase tax revenue from the construction of private pools by 40 million euros per year.
As a reminder, in February, the US Internal Revenue Service stopped using the ID.me facial recognition system.
In the same month, US citizens were allowed not to use biometric authentication when receiving online services from the tax service.