The South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the National Tax Board of Sweden today launched an audit programme which will enable SARS to adopt a targeted approach to tax evasion.
The computer-based programme equips SARS with customised risk analysis software that compares favourably with the most sophisticated programmes used worldwide. It is the culmination of a four-year partnership with Sweden˙s National Tax Board, which has benefited from generous sponsorship by the Swedish aid agency, SIDA.
The launch takes place within the context of a wider transformation programme, which is aimed at changing SARS from a bureaucratic public entity into a value-adding, modern organisation. The new SARS will have a better understanding of where higher risks and revenue yields are located in the economy, and will - through targeted interventions - set out to raise levels of compliance and revenue collected.
Pending the introduction of the risk profiling software, known as SARAP, SARS introduced a manual risk profiling process which has been adopted by 25 percent of its auditors, and will be extended to all audit staff by the end of the year. At the same time, SARAP will be used for income tax audits conducted by SARS's corporate tax centre. After this pilot, it will be rolled out to other SARS offices and applied to other tax types.
Present at today˙s launch were the Minister of Finance, Mr Trevor Manuel, the Swedish Ambassador, Ms Helena Nilsson, the Director-General of the Swedish National Tax Board, Mr Mats Sjostrand, and the Commissioner of SARS, Mr Pravin Gordhan.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE