Hunt for swimming pools not declared to the tax authorities: the bug of the new tax software which would be wrong in 30% of cases


The new tax software to detect undeclared swimming pools, currently being tested, generates many errors, and therefore unjustified tax adjustments.

It is a technology that was to revolutionize the detection of buildings affecting the value of property subject to local taxes (built property and housing tax). The system called “Innovative Land” tested in ten departments is proving most disappointing and even has a 30% error rate, reports Le Parisien on Monday April 4.

Also, of the nearly 8,500 taxpayers in Bouches-du-Rhône who would be subject to a tax adjustment, nearly a third would be by mistake, according to the daily.

Artificial intelligence

The software developed by the Ministry of Finance in partnership with Google and Cap Gemini was to detect undeclared swimming pools, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) analyzing aerial views and cadastres.

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Aerial photos, artificial intelligence: the tax authorities launch the 2.0 hunt for undeclared swimming pools

But after several months of testing, “Innovative Land” would be far from proving its worth and its relatively numerous errors. The software would thus not be able to distinguish above ground and/or removable pools which are not taxable from those buried, which cannot be dismantled, which impact the rental value of the property and therefore its taxation. A major problem when we know that, since confinement in particular, many French people have equipped themselves with above-ground swimming pools, adds Le Parisien.

Blue covers for swimming pools

Another pitfall, and not the least, the AI ​​of the Bercy services would also take the blue tarpaulins (DIY or gardening) for swimming pools…

For the moment, in the event of an error, the surveyors of the Ministry of Finance are obliged to compare the data reported by their software with aerial photos such as those from Google maps. The taxes nevertheless always expect a share of errors, for lack of a control visit on the ground, assures Le Parisien.

However, these results seem most worrying when we know that the system, planned to be extended to the whole country, must also eventually make it possible to detect, in addition to swimming pools, garages, verandas or tennis courts.


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