Fighting Tax Fraud
Within Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), the Spanish
national tax office’s IT function, a division has responsibility for
designing, building, acquiring and maintaining systems and tools that
facilitate the analysis of tax data. A key objective among many of its
goals is the identification and prevention of possible tax fraud.
The effort that La Agencia Tributaria undertakes against fraud is
strategic not only for the state tax office, but also for the entire
Spanish nation. To effectively manage this large-scale initiative, the
AEAT handles enormous volumes of data on a daily basis, to which
hundreds of users have access.
Previously, AEAT managed all its information using a solution developed
internally. These early systems fit the needs of the tax office
perfectly, but needed to be expanded to accommodate data growth and
usage. The Agencia Tributaria was looking for a standard system capable
of managing and storing huge volumes of data and dealing with large
quantities of complex inquiries with rapid response times.
The tax office had a particular requirement that the new solution
needed to address: it would have to tackle a challenge inherent in the
existing information infrastructure - specifically the processing,
management and analysis of complex volumes of detailed information
consolidated in data tables containing over one hundred thousand
Given these stringent requirements, AEAT elected to implement Sybase
IQ, a business intelligent data warehousing and mining tool
specifically designed for organizations needing to analyze large
volumes of data. Sybase IQ fulfilled all the demanding requirements of
the Spanish tax office and provided a key additional benefit. The new
solution was the most innovative and comprehensive available in the
market that allows data to be stored, processed and accessed in
columns, rather than by rows as in traditional relational database
architectures. This architecture translates into efficient
processing, faster query responses, and dramatic storage compression
AEAT also selected IBM System p hardware for its solution, running SUSE
Linux – a highly complementary system, leveraging the strength of
analytics, a robust IBM platform, and cost-effective operating system.
Strengthened Information Management System
The Agencia Tributaria has hundreds of users accessing extremely
sensitive information originating from two primary sources.
Normal tax collection and employment operations contribute an ongoing
stream of data as a part of daily tax activities. The second
source emanates from the activities of investigative groups as they
summon data from third parties in the pursuit of tax investigations.
From the perspective of AEAT, Sybase IQ has the capability to access
the information, conduct analysis and provide answers to all types of
inquiries, including unplanned queries, in real-time. This has enabled
response times to be significantly reduced and has expanded the output
of the organization.
Following the deployment of the new system, the Spanish tax office
improved its information management and, at the same time, increased
data storage capacity, significantly reduced costs and made an
important contribution to eco-efficiency.
At present, AEAT’s database holds 14 terabytes of data, which equates
to almost 2 billion records. And, as the population grows and the tax
office generates new legislation, these events create new demands for
information. AEAT predicts that in the next few years its database will
grow to around 25 terabytes representing around 13,000 million records.
With Sybase IQ, The Agencia Tributaria has succeeded in managing the
constant growth in the volume of information and implemented a dynamic
means of responding to queries. Using technology readily available in
the market, AEAT has been able to focus the organization’s resources on
deploying the analytical tools to improve tax processing and fraud
investigations – without incurring the costs associated with
maintaining and developing its own database management and analytics
With the Sybase IQ and IBM System p solution, the Spanish tax office
has strengthened its information management system and equipped itself
with the weaponry necessary to continue the fight against tax fraud and
uphold the force of the law.