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Who’s Bogus? Catching Fraudulent Firms in Delhi

Institutions & Governance India

A common VAT tax evasion strategy in low ​compliance​ environments ​involves fraudulent​ “paper” firms ​that allow other firms to ​reduce their tax liabilities. ​Identifying these fraudulent firms can potentially help recover lost tax revenue, but locating them is a problem for tax administrators with weak legal and enforcement capacity. Machine learning methods on available tax returns data can facilitate finding these fraudulent firms in a cost-effective manner.​ Researchers are assessing whether better targeting of inspections could lead to increased tax revenue for the state and what the major bottlenecks might be. In the long term, they aim to assess whether improved audits deter evasion and create an environment of better tax compliance. Results forthcoming

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