If you have been wondering what the ATO have been up to behind the scenes, then this article is for you. Since 2019, the ATO have been working on their new AI system called ‘ANGIE’ (Automated Network & Grouping Identification Engine) which uses Netflix like artificial intelligence to identify suspicious activity within the complicated affairs of wealthy taxpayers.
ANGIE’s main aim is to produce a network of maps for corporate entities and their related transactions across time. This information can then be used to identify ‘patterns of interest’ for the ATO to investigate. The AI has been in ‘beta’ testing phase for the last six months and will now be put to use.
This new technology uses similar algorithms to those currently being used by Netflix, Google and LinkedIn to make recommendations based on the pattern of usage and common linkages, such as schools, towns of birth etc.
ANGIE creates a simple visualisation, which is then used by the ATO staff to scrutinise the integrity of corporate structures or transactions. This includes Australian data and complex multinational corporate structures that often use multiple shell companies to hide the ultimate ownership.
The ATO are also using AI to ‘point out’ to taxpayers when their deduction claims are inconsistent with claims from similar taxpayers, which then allows the ATO staff to focus on higher-risk claims.
For the majority of taxpayers, they’ll never meet ANGIE. However for those that seek to do the wrong thing, ANGIE will be looking over their shoulder.