The IRS will be utilizing SAS Analytics software as part of a campaign to cut down on fraudulent tax returns.

The Cary-based software firm has won a contract worth $6.25 million to provide its data mining and analysis tools to the new IRS Return Review Program.

The program is targeting fraud and non-compliance that the IRS says will cut down on issuing of fraudulent refunds and tax credit fraud for such things as child adoption and earned income tax credits. According to the IRS the program will be used to combat a “$345 billion tax gap,” or what people owe and what they pay.

SAS tolls to be used include SAS Grid Manager, SAS Text Miner and SAS Scoring Accelerator as well as SAS Social Network Analysis which is designed to uncover previously unknown connections between people (see graphic with this story.)

“There is a significant opportunity to avoid improper refunds and payments of large sums of money,” said Karen Knowles, president of the SAS Federal business unit, in a statement. “With SAS, the IRS can reduce the number and amount of fraudulent tax refunds, discover emerging fraud schemes and increase tax collections to shrink the tax gap.”

SAS software will analyze tax returns to detect anomalies, use predictive modeling to identify suspicious behaviors, and social network analysis to detect collusion and organized rings. SAS software already is used by other government agencies as well as financial institutions around the world.

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