How Artificial Intelligence is Making Automated VAT Recovery Smarter

Business travel expenses can add up, but at least with a VAT refund, you can claim back the VAT. The trouble is that when your employees travel, they end up with many different VAT receipts. If you’re not using automated VAT reclaim for business, submitting a VAT return can be time-consuming and tiresome.

Manual VAT refund processing takes up a lot of man-hours for your accounting or HR department. Your staff has to deal with a mountain of VAT receipts, many of them in a different language and with different formatting.

It’s no wonder that as much as £15.3 billion of VAT refunds go unclaimed every year.

It’s simply too exhausting to process every single VAT receipt, especially when the amounts are small.

The Advantages of Automated VAT Reclaim for Business

Artificial intelligence is the solution to your VAT return exhaustion. When you use artificial intelligence to automate your business VAT refund process, you free up your employees to concentrate on their other tasks.

An automated VAT return system doesn’t decide to skip a few receipts for tiny amounts of VAT, doesn’t lose track, and doesn’t get tired, overwhelmed or annoyed. Artificial intelligence tools for VAT refunds also don’t make mistakes. A human – even one with advanced detail orientation skills – might accidentally enter a number in the wrong box, get a calculation wrong, or draw a ‘six’ that’s such a scrawl it could be read as a ‘five’. But automated VAT reclaim for business will never make such mistakes. And those mistakes can alter your bottom line.

The Challenges of Developing Automated VAT Reclaim for Business

There are challenges to implementing an automated VAT reclaim for business process. VAT receipts and invoices vary widely in their input. There’s no international standardised format, making it difficult to configure a computer program to extract the relevant information. All too many business travel VAT receipts reach the office in poor condition – crumpled, torn, dirty, smudged, or all the above.

On top of that, receipts tend to be badly printed in dot-matrix, with a combination of numbers, punctuation, and words that is confusing for any OCR and language analysis program. That’s why it’s taken so long to develop an effective automated VAT reclaim for business system.

Artificial Intelligence Solves the Automated VAT Return Challenge

Artificial intelligence in general, and deep learning in particular, brought the solution. Deep learning is a way of training artificial intelligence programs to spot patterns and commonalities between different items.

If your artificial intelligence program needs to identify cat pictures, for example, you’ll show it image after image of cats. Your deep learning program puts together a set of exclusions and features – eg. furry, pointed ears, whiskers – to define what identifies a cat and help it distinguish a cat from a dog or a mouse.

If your program needs to identify the total VAT amount on a VAT receipt, you’ll show it image after image of VAT receipts until it “learns” to recognize the total amount and distinguish it from the date, the vendor name, or the VAT number.

What makes artificial intelligence programs (“deep”) different from the computational tools that came before them (“shallow”) is that deep learning programs keep on learning by themselves.

“Deep” means that the program has millions of parameters and works hierarchically, as compared to “shallow” processing, which was offered by all predecessor programs. Deep learning also offers better support for online learning, which incrementally improves the program’s performance as more data is shown over time. If it makes a mistake, since deep learning algorithms automatically learn how to describe the data and extract features, data engineers don’t have to start again with manually designed, new rules for identifying VAT totals. They simply correct the program, add more data, and it learns for next time.

The Way2Vat Automated VAT Return Solution

We at Way2Vat use deep learning and artificial intelligence in our automated VAT reclaim for business solution. Our unique, comprehensive AI-powered tool combines both spatial and linguistic information into ‘Skip-Rect Embedding’ to correct the spelling mistakes that frequently occur when you use OCR text. Our system joins that with reverse-engineered logic software, designed to work out the correct answer in the face of more than one possible option.

The artificial intelligence-powered tools enable businesses like yours to automate the VAT refund process. It can even cope with VAT receipts that are in poor condition, formatted according to different standards, and written in a different language and currency, so that your staff can easily and quickly complete your employees’ VAT returns and claim a full VAT refund on all business travel expenses.

For all the details about using an automated VAT reclaim for business for your VAT return in the EU and other countries around the world, download our eBook.

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