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Military contractor targets tax avoidance for its next trick

Not content with blowing up bad guys in real life, military contractor BAE Systems has decided to target tax avoidance with some new digital software tools.

The biggest defence company in Europe is looking to begin selling its anti-tax cheat software, NetReveal, to a wide swathe of governments in central Europe, with the expectation that it can increase its client base twofold in just two short years. With something like €170bn in unpaid VAT that just disappears into the aether every year in Europe – and with “missing” payments and shell companies playing “hot potato” with money that should by all rights be taxed making up a sizable bit of this missing cash, industry experts say that in many cases technological advances in financial analysis can be highly effective in uncovering tax avoidance, tax evasion, and any other schemes that these sneaky bastards try to get up to just to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Whatever you may think of the military-industrial complex, NetReveal has a reputation for working – and working incredibly well. Slovakia enlisted the aid of the company in order to stem the seemingly unending flow of €3 billion per annum in VAT fraud, and within a month the program earned the country more money than it cost. In the half year following that, NetReveal increased Slovakia’s tax receipts by in excess of €500 million. That’s more or less vast shedloads of cash – and it generated an avalanche of interest in neighbouring countries like Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic to enlist BAE’s services as well.

Now, I have no good idea exactly how NetReveal works, besides running some incredibly detailed analysis of international payment patterns to look for dodgy activity in order to flag it for investigation later by teams of human beings, but if it works it works; I’m not going to argue with results, especially when it leads to more money in the pockets of countries that deserve their cut but aren’t getting it. Nothing makes me more incensed than tax fraud, especially when so many people think they can get away with it; it just chuffs me to bits when I hear about people geting caught and hoisted by their own petard. Greedy little gits deserve it, if you ask me!

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