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An unusual experiment allowed French tax officials to discover thousands of undisclosed swimming pools using artificial intelligence,

More than 20,000 hidden pools generated approximately €10m (£8.5m) in new revenue, according to BBC, According to French law, the addition of a pool to a home leads to a higher property tax because it can increase its overall value.


In October 2021, a test experiment analyzed nine regions of France from an aerial perspective using software made by google and the French company Capgemini. Following its recent success, now French officials say they plan to roll out the new software across the country.

“We are specifically targeting house extensions such as verandas,” said Antoine Magnant, deputy director general of public finance for a French outlet. “But we have to make sure the software can find buildings with a large footprint and not dog kennels or children’s playhouses.”

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The French newspaper Le Parisien calculated that an average pool measured in 322 square feet is taxed at 200 euros per year. In addition, there were an estimated 3.2 million private pools in the European state in 2020, with a spike in establishments during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crackdown on undeclared pools comes as France faces one of the worst recorded droughts, which have made drinking water unavailable in many areas of the country. The BBC notes that last month was one of the driest months in France with only 0.38 inches of rain since 1961.

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Tax officials believe they can use AI software to find other home extensions, such as Gazeboss and Pantos, to boost tax revenue.