Data-driven insights help Sars increase value-added tax revenue collection

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The South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Edward Kieswetter says data-driven insights are helping to increase value-added tax revenue collection in the country.

He says it helped to deliver R41 billion in tax revenue last year.

Kieswetter says data science supported tax administration has helped the Sars to secure 54 successful criminal prosecutions.

He was addressing delegates at the launch of the 2022 Africa Tax Outlook Report in Johannesburg.

“I can tell you that 3.9-million of the 4.3-million tax returns we don’t even touch. It is processed and assessed through our automated tax processor using the data that is at our hand and machinery algorithms.”

“Only 10%, one out of every 10 VAT returns are then selected and not selected because a human being has applied their mind. It is selected because the risk detection capability we have build will select it for further verification,” adds Kieswetter.