Revenue Commissioners and Accenture strike new deal

12 May 2004

NICE – Tax evasion and the exploitation of complex tax loopholes that have dogged Ireland for the past few decades may soon be eradicated through the deployment of new technology jointly developed by the Irish Revenue Commissioners and Accenture. New knowledge discovery technology ties together disparate forms of information that would embarrass even the wiliest tax dodger.

At a briefing today in Accenture’s R&D centre at Sophia Antipolis in the South of France, Accenture executives revealed that the Irish Revenue Commissioners, after visiting the centre, worked with the consultancy to deploy a technology that would give Revenue workers greater intelligence when performing tax audits.

Accenture previously worked with the Irish Revenue Commissioners to build its Revenue Online Service (ROS), which is responsible for €4.8bn in taxes being collected annually from some 300,000 businesses and individuals around the country. Accenture has since rebadged the system and sold elements of it to the French Government.

According to Mark Illsley, European labs director at Sophia Antipolis, Accenture and the Revenue Commissioners have developed a proof of concept based on Accenture’s Knowedge Discovery Tool. The technology, known in Revenue circles as “Profiler” is a knowledge integration application that probes multiple data repositories and displays knowledge as a single, holistic web. It goes beyond basic web search engines by enabling Revenue executives to see relationships between pieces of information that they never knew existed.

In building Profiler, the Accenture and Revenue development team added to an existing user interface developed by US firm TheBrain, with extra security, data access, data integration, and transformation rules as well as various tax compliance and risk profiles. TheBrain is a context-driven visual technology that shows relationships between information, replacing traditional file and folder hierarchies that unnaturally separate information.

In addition to trawling Revenue’s data warehouse, provisions for internet searches via third party systems were also built in, including information such as directorships, tax performance, credit history, payment and compliance patterns as well as background and other external information linked together.

It is understood that the Irish Revenue Commissioners executive may use the Profiler to drill further on a particular link to pursue specific avenues of investigation.

The technology gives Revenue executives a better understanding of taxpayer cases under investigation. It is also understood to be of particular interest to Revenue auditors and debt collection officials seeking to improve their understanding of a case where Revenue is at risk, as well as for individuals dealing with larger and more complex taxpayers.

Just as with the ROS, Accenture has separately packaged the original proof of concept to create a customisable template known as “Case Crawler” for police, defence, ordinary businesses, legal firms, immigration authorities and other government bodies around the world.

By John Kennedy