Incident 137: Israeli Tax Authority Employed Opaque Algorithm to Impose Fines, Reportedly Refusing to Provide an Explanation for Amount Calculation to a Farmer

Description: An Israeli farmer was imposed a computer generated fine by the tax authority, who allegedly were not able to explain its calculation, and refused to disclose the program and its source code.


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Alleged: Israeli Tax Authority developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed Moshe Har Shemesh and Israeli people having tax fines.

Incident Stats

Incident ID
Report Count
Incident Date
Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam

GMF Taxonomy Classifications

Taxonomy Details

Known AI Goal

Financial Processing

Potential AI Technology


Known AI Technical Failure

Lack of Transparency

Incident Reports

When an Israeli Farmer Declared War on an Algorithm · 2021

A tax dispute between a ranch in Israel’s southern Negev desert and the country’s tax authority has given rise to an issue which could have far reaching repercussions on the public’s ability to oversee and even understand government acts.



A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.