In collaboration with Capgemini and Google, the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques comissioned an AI in 2021, to scan aerial photographs for swimming pools and cross reference the findings against real estate and tax database records to identify undeclared construction for tax assessment in 9/26 regions. To date, the program has identified 20,356 undeclared pools totaling nearly €10 million extra tax revenue, due to the post-pandemic pool construction boom.
French newspaper Le Parisien reports that the project to discover undocumented swimming pools is somewhat controversial, but not for the reasons you might expect. Capgemini, a multinational IT firm with headquarters in Paris, has come under fire for using American tech giant Google as a subcontractor for cloud processing on the project. Google has a long-running history of tax disputes with the French government. Controversies aside, Le Fisc plans to roll out the program nationwide soon, resulting in an estimated 40 million euros in additional tax revenue.France reveals hidden swimming pools with AI, taxes them | Ars Technica
The AI's scope is now being expanded to include the whole of France along with more construction types.
The AI software was so successful in identifying the Franco-aquatic breaches that the tax office is considering rolling it out to catch would-be tax evaders with property extensions, annexes and decks.
"We are particularly targeting house extensions like verandas, but we have to be sure that the software can find buildings with a large footprint and not the dog kennel or the children's playhouse," deputy director general of public finances Antoine Magnant told Le Parisien.Google AI spots 20,000 undeclared pools in $14 million tax windfall for French government | SmartCompany
Reading about the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques employing AI to assess hidden taxable assets, makes me think of the 1998 French comedy movie "The Dinner Game (Le Diner de Cons)", where Jacques Villeret plays a tax assessor with an astute eye for tax evasion, but everything else is a well meaning hot mess.