SARS prepares to use artificial intelligence to fight tax evasion

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Benjamin Franklin once said there were only two certainties in life, death and taxes. No truer words have been spoken, as the South African Revenue Services (SARS) will be introducing a new system which will make avoiding taxes a difficult and costly endeavour.

The new system forms part of SARS’ Vision 2024, where the focus will be put on building a smarter and more modern receiver of revenue.

Through using data-driven insights, self-learning computers and artificial intelligence to fight tax evasion, SARS is set on harnessing technology to ensure people pay their dues.

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter claims society cannot ignore the power of a data and technology-enabled organisation, as well as the impact it will have on the future world of work.

Kieswetter says one of the things SARS is currently working on, is to professionalise data science as a deep discipline. SARS will then create the capability for supercomputers to work through the data the revenue services currently has.

Furthermore, SARS is also in the process of updating its systems to provide digital and streamlined services to the public.

As SARS prepares to enhance its services and workflow, Kieswetter says current SARS’ strategic objectives include providing people with clarity and certainty of tax obligations, making it much easier for taxpayers and traders to comply. The strategic objectives also include detecting people who don’t comply, making it hard and costly for them.

With SARS looking at using supercomputers, artificial intelligence and data to improve its functionality, what are your thoughts on the institute embracing the new system? Do you feel it will improve services or not?

Share your views and thoughts with us in the comment section below.

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