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In AI & society

It is nowadays widely understood that undeclared work cannot be efficiently combated without a holistic view on the mechanisms underlying its existence. However, the question remains whether we possess all the pieces of the holistic puzzle. To fill the gap, in this paper, we test if the features so far known to affect the behaviour of taxpayers are sufficient to detect noncompliance with outstanding precision. This is done by training seven supervised machine learning models on the compilation of data from the 2019 Special Eurobarometer on undeclared work and relevant figures from other sources. The conducted analysis not only does attest to the completeness of our knowledge concerning the drivers of undeclared work but also paves the way for wide usage of artificial intelligence in monitoring and confronting this detrimental practice. The study, however, exposes the necessity of having at disposal considerably larger datasets compared to those currently available if successful real-world applications of machine learning are to be achieved in this field. Alongside the apparent theoretical contribution, this paper is thus also expected to be of particular importance for policymakers, whose efforts to tackle tax evasion will have to be expedited in the period after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Franic Josip


Artificial intelligence, EU, Informal economy, Machine learning, Tax evasion, Undeclared work