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Reform Support

Supporting reforms to ensure efficient and effective revenue administration and public financial management.

Data-driven approaches to combat tax evasion and fraud in Italy

The Commission is supporting the needs of the Italian Revenue Administrations (Agenzia delle Entrate – AdE) to implement new data-driven risk analysis approaches and tools to detect tax fraud and evasion. By means of state-of-the-art technological solutions such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the Agency aims to strengthen voluntary compliance, reduce grey economy and improve sustainability of the public finances. A multidisciplinary team of private experts will provide highly specialised and tailored support to AdE for a period of 18 months as of July 2021. 

Context 

The challenges of our times for AdE such as the unprecedented speed of technological change, big data, emerging new business models, complexity of tax policy issues and increasing skills shortage - require new approaches, new tools and new skills. In this view, securing the digital transformation is vital.  

In recent years, the AdE has introduced some new information technologies and approached, based on advanced data analytics with the goal to improve risk analysis and detect more accurately cases of tax evasion and tax fraud. However, these new tools and approaches need to be further integrated and improved through multidisciplinary methodological approaches allowing better and well-grounded tax risk analyses. New data-driven approaches are also critical at the next stage phase of the process - tax audits of high-risk cases, where additional data processing is needed. 

Ultimately, this project is highly relevant to the Union priorities in the field of digital transformation, improving public administrations, supporting the recovery and strengthening the resilience of Italy. 

Support delivered 

The Commission will accompany the AdE in its ambitious digital transformation by providing support on (1) implementation of a feasibility study on new data-driven tools, (2) specifying the processes and requirements for tailored for Italy innovative data-driven approaches and technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning, (3) preparing a comprehensive transition and implementation plan, and (4) delivering training materials and training sessions dedicated to data-driven analysis and investigations, tailored to the needs of the Agency’s staff. 

Expected results 

The project is expected to streamline and strengthen tax evasion risk analysis processes within AdE, to accelerate and facilitate the implementation of new data-driven approaches and technological solutions by the Agency. By integrating the efforts of the AdE for strengthening both - technologies and people, this project shall help AdE improve the risk assessment of non-compliance, monitor in a more effective way the behaviour of taxpayers, increase tax compliance and reduce the level of grey economy and tax gap. In the long run, the project is expected to promote sustainability of the public finances, equality and longstanding structural changes of Italy's economy. 

More about the project