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Revenue deploys robots to save precious time

In 2016, Ireland's Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D., announced the modernisation of how tax was to be collected from employees in Ireland.

The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Modernisation programme was the most significant reform of PAYE since its inception in the 1960s, and is one of the biggest business developments Revenue in Ireland has ever undertaken.

We've worked as a strategic information technology partner of Revenue since August 2010, supporting them in collecting taxes from individuals and businesses, which fund and support vital public services.

From hours to minutes

We supported the Revenue information and communication technologies team across all streams of the project. This included areas like software development and testing, system architecture and design, change and programme management, and robotic process automation (RPA).

Revenue undertook a range of initiatives to make sure that both Revenue and employer records were accurate and up to date. This ensures that PAYE taxpayers pay the right amount of tax at the right time, a key objective of PAYE Modernisation.

We identified over 20,000 PAYE taxpayer records that needed to be updated following a change in marital status. The normal update process can take as many as 200 steps, depending on the circumstances and complexity of a case. We piloted RPA technology to automate the process, reducing the execution time for each case from hours to minutes.

Time better spent

The pilot not only improved transaction processing, it allowed Revenue to better allocate resources. As John Barron, CIO Revenue, noted, "The RPA pilot has proven the potential of the technology and provides significant benefits."

"It delivers a more accurate, consistent and efficient service to our PAYE taxpayers. In addition, it frees our skilled staff to focus on higher-value work and more strategic projects. This is hugely positive from our perspective and allows us to better deploy our staff and optimise our performance, productivity and output."

What's more, the RPA solution has developed a library of reusable components that can be reconfigured and deployed to work on other areas of the tax system.

"In addition to saving time, one of the most exciting elements of this pilot is the potential to re-use technology across other areas of the tax system," said Ruairí Allen, Consulting Partner at Deloitte Ireland. "One of the major advantages of implementing robotics solutions is freeing up time, to ensure that people's expertise is used in the best way possible."

This overall programme represents a huge step forward for Revenue, maintaining its position as one of the most progressive tax authorities in the world.

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