“The potential of digitisation and artificial intelligence in the field of taxation” is a joint innovation study by WTS and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).
Mr Esterer is driven to the office in an autonomous car, allowing him to enquire about the tax liability in India in real time while travelling. This scenario shows only a fraction of the possibilities that digitisation and artificial intelligence (AI) will bring. This is because the field of taxation offers huge AI potential, precisely because it is so complicated.
Computers are already able to analyse complex situations and extensive data constellations in a matter of seconds, and can derive at least some crucial information. The next step will involve simulating multi-layered, human analysis skills and intelligent decision-making processes more efficiently, allowing AI systems to learn how to think strategically – with fantastic potential for use in tax consultancy and functions. Here at WTS, we see ourselves as pioneers and want to set the course for the future, today: With our innovation study, “The potential of digitisation and artificial intelligence in the field of taxation”, in conjunction with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), we are taking an important step towards innovative AI tax solutions.
Key AI technologies, application scenarios, and prototypes
The study is identifying key AI technologies which can be used to aid and automate both basic services and more sophisticated tax activities. These key technologies are also being examined and evaluated in terms of their technical maturity and economic impact.
Three-stage study concept
The first stage of the study asks the following questions: What potential do AI applications have in the context of taxation? This includes, in particular, the potential uses of AI technologies for individual fields and types of taxation.
In the second stage, the focus is on specific application scenarios for the four study pathways. This involves precisely analysing detailed problems identified in these companies’ practices and evaluating these problems with a view to solving them directly using AI technologies. Finally, in the last stage, various prototypes are implemented in selected fields of application in order to demonstrate applicable solutions for specific tax sub-problems and to illustrate what potential has been identified.
Cumulative competence from science and industry
Several DFKI research departments are involved in the study in order that tax activities can be examined using different technological expertise: The Institute for Information Systems is examining tax-intensive processes using process mining techniques. These techniques are used to identify automation and optimisation potential and to detect anomalies in processes. The Multilingual Technologies research department is focusing on issues surrounding machine translation of tax-related texts and is creating “Question & Answering” systems in the field of taxation. What possibilities are there for intelligent user interaction in tax software? This is being explored by the Intelligent User Interfaces department. For the Smart Data & Knowledge Services research department, the focus is on preparing tax-relevant information and linking it intelligently to a knowledge base.
WTS is involved with specialists from different fields to collate tax expertise, which allows for the consideration of various problems from the fields of customs, VAT, income tax, corporate tax, and transfer pricing.