For those who keep up with the EU economic situation, it will probably not be news that one of Greece’s biggest ongoing issues is the (non)collection of taxes. But it might be news that at one point, the Greek finance ministry hired a computer science professor to come up with a solution for the problem.
Planet Money, one of my favorite podcasts, has a 4-minute feature on this that’s worth a listen.
Spinellis’s program found hundreds of thousands of cases of potential tax fraud.
Greece has three hundred regional tax offices. Spinellis thought the solution was simple. Share the data with all of them and wait for the revenues to come flowing in.
Check out the link for the result of this “simple” solution. The text is also available, but it flows better as a spoken story.