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AI start-up gets $12.5M to upgrade, expand tax evasion tracking technology

IVIX illuminating shadow economies
IVIX says its artificial intelligence (AI) software, which was designed with input from tax authorities, helps illuminate shadow economies. It does that, according to the company, by collecting publicly available business activity data and turning that information into credible leads for tax authorities to follow.

IVIX, an Israeli venture with offices in New York, was founded in 2020, and touts itself as "the first AI-powered platform designed to address tax evasion in the shadow economy."

Several former top Internal Revenue Service officials were and are among its advisors. Don Fort, former IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) chief, currently is IVIX's chief business officer. The IRS CI division already uses IVIX technology, as do several U.S. state tax departments.

This week, the company announced that it has received $12.5 million. IVIX says the new capital will go toward research and development, as well as global expansion of its artificial intelligence software.

IVIX_Logo"IVIX has already helped cities, states and countries around the world recover billions in lost revenue and we're excited about continuing our expansion with this new investment," said Matan Fattal, IVIX cofounder and CEO, in a statement.

The company says its technology, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, "was designed to empower tax agencies to gain full visibility into business activity, boost deterrence, and increase tax compliance."

Tracking down unreported income: Fattal said a key part of that effort is gaining "visibility into the shadow economy." This means getting a fuller picture of revenue sources, from cash-based industries to ecommerce to crypto transactions.

Those obscured transactions contribute to $20 trillion in unreported taxable business income every year around the world, according to IVIX.

The United States' portion of that underreporting is estimated by IVIX to total $1 trillion in tax losses annually. That's uncollected revenue that IVIX says "limits the ability of governments to provide public services such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure."

Former IRS execs' advice: And speaking of the United States, and specifically our tax agency, IVIX boasts of the involvement of several former IRS top brass.

In addition to Fort's official position within IVIX, several former IRS officials are among the company's advisors. They are former IRS commissioner Fred Goldberg; Kevin Brown, former acting IRS commissioner; Eric Hylton, former commissioner of the IRS Small Business/Self Employed division; and Beth Tucker, former deputy commissioner of the IRS.

Jail Cell Silhouette_Tax Felon Friday Tax Felon Friday: As AI expands, it's no surprise the IRS is examining how the technology can help it fight tax evasion.

The need to fight tech with tech is underscored by the myriad advancements that have expanded how we earn taxable money.

I'm sure when AI helps the IRS break a major tax crime case, it will merit much publicity. 

While we wait for that to happen, the IRS' interest in and contributions, albeit by former agency officials, to IVIX's AI software are sufficient to earn the company's funding news a place in the ol' blog's new end-of-week feature Tax Felon Friday.

You can read more tax crime posts, including those that were published long before I gave them a special designation, in the, what else, tax crimes category. You'll find this post at the top of that category right now, so just scroll down for more.

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