Revenue turns to a digital bot to answer your tax queries

Voice bot pilot service uses advanced AI to respond to phone queries on tax clearance


The Office of the Revenue Commissioners is teaming up with Accenture to bring some high-tech help to the tax system.

A voice-driven virtual digital assistant is getting a test run with the tax office in a bid to streamline services and help callers with their queries.

As part of the pilot, the voice bot will use advanced artificial intelligence technologies to respond to phone queries on tax clearance. In some cases it may process applications for the certificate for callers.

Voice assistants and artificial intelligence have become increasingly common in the consumer market, with smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home on sale in Ireland, and voice assistants Siri, Google Assistant and Bixby available on smartphones. Bots – automated assistants powered by artificial intelligence – have also become an increasingly common tool for businesses’ customer services.

However, the Revenue is one of the first revenue agencies in the world to implement such a voice-driven service.

As part of the pilot, Revenue will test the assistant’s ability to answer general questions and simple requests made over the phone.

The bot may find some support from the public. A recent survey from Accenture revealed almost 70 per cent of Irish taxpayers would use the technology to make their tax filings more accurate.

“We have drawn on Accenture’s industry knowledge and our experience in the latest digital technologies and methodologies, including AI to develop this service,” said David Regan, Accenture’s managing director of global revenue. “Technology is now firmly embedded throughout our everyday lives and is reshaping large parts of society. Revenue are leading the way with this pilot and we look forward to working with them to ensure success.”