The IOTA Workshop on Artificial Intelligence shared a unique perspective on defining Artificial Intelligence in the tax context, explored IOTA member administrations’ experiences of using AI in the field of taxation, and provided a better understanding of the process of development, implementation, and use of AI. The digital workshop took place on 7th December 2021 and welcomed 139 registered participants from 33 IOTA member countries.
The use of AI in tax administrations offers many advantages, such as improved services, resource savings, improved processes, and increased operational effectiveness. However, the process of strategy development, preparation of system architecture, staff allocation and training, implementation, and monitoring can be challenging. The IOTA Workshop aimed at exploring the best practices of overcoming the challenges to successful implementation and use of AI.
The first panel welcomed Prof. Jeffrey Owens (WU Global Tax Policy Centre, Vienna), Shakeel Khan (HMRC & Validate AI CIC), Harvey Lewis, (Ernst & Young LLP) and Michel Van Hoegaerden (Federal Public Service Finances of Belgium) and offered speakers’ understanding of what AI is, from a point of view of tax administration and the private sector, guided and navigated by the established professor who was chairing the discussion. The speakers discussed how to build and assure trustworthy AI, the objectives to be achieved, organization, and how AI solutions interact with other technologies based on the postulate that AI is the right way forward for tax administrations, intertwined with the professor's expert thread.
Next, Andreas Voxberg (Sweden) gave an overview of AI strategy as a high-level precondition for the implementation of AI solutions, specifically his country’s practical approach to handling this experience. The presentation was titled ‘Swedish tax agency in the age of AI’.
The question that raised great interest among the tax administrations “Using AI in the field of taxation” was the theme of the day’s longest plenary session, where a number of country presentations reflected on the topic:
- “Technical Support Instrument - Opportunities for Support in Implementation of AI” given by Mr. Christophe Du Four representing the European Commission - Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM).
- “Use of AI to improve administrative processes” by Claudio Amico (Italy)
- “Chatbot FRED of the Austrian Tax Administration” by Armin Jaeger and Dominik Breer (Austria)
- “Utilizing Machine Learning in HMRC” by Gavin Thompson (United Kingdom)
All three plenary sessions were followed by a Q&A discussion.
During the afternoon session of the workshop, nominated participants could join a group discussion to share and explore ideas on their tax administrations’ stage of development in the field of AI, the roadmap to develop AI strategy, implementation of intelligent digital solutions, and steps towards successful use of AI.
In the last session, the nominated chairpersons intersected the key positions and opinions of both groups.
The video-recording of the event, presentations, and group discussion notes are available for registered IOTA website users on the event’s webpage.