June 2019

Travis Thompson co-authors “Do IRS Computers Dream About Tax Cheats? Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in Tax Enforcement and Compliance” for the Tax Practice and Procedure Journal


If tax practitioners continue to rely upon television and movies to guide their understanding about artificial intelligence, they will surely be at a disadvantage. Machines are not taking over the world. Computers do not have minds and they do not dream.

But, even though computers have certain subjective limitations, they have unlimited potential in the modern tax enforcement and compliance initiatives recently adopted by the IRS. As federal enforcement agencies are increasingly asked to do more with less, the U.S. government has implemented advanced technology platforms to enforce financial crimes which have increased in sophistication. As tax cheats and other financial criminal started targeting the digital world, the IRS reciprocated those efforts by modernizing its tax enforcement and compliance strategy.