SARS Says Using of 3rd Party Data Paying Off, Machine Learning Used to Find Tax Evaders

SARS Says Using of 3rd Party Data Paying Off, Machine Learning Used to Find Tax Evaders

  • The South African Revenue Service says making use of third party information to identify tax evaders is finally showing fruition
  • The revenue service has been making use of both domestic and international data sources to find hidden assets
  • SARS says it is also working on m claiming tax from government PPE vendors that have not registered as VAT vendors

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service says the use of data to quickly detect non-compliance has proven to work effectively.

SARS says it has been making use of third party information retrieved from both local and international data sources. The information retrieved from these data sources is then input into machine learning models and risk profiling to efficiently detect tax evaders.

Domestic third-party sources include banks, medical insurance providers, retirement funds and properties deeds offices among others, according to a report by MyBroadband.

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SARS, 3rd Party Data, Machine Learning, Tax Evaders
SARS is going after government PPE vendors that are not registered as VAT vendors. Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

SARS is also getting information from over 100 foreign countries on off-shore financial assets. Access to third-party data has allowed SARS to collect R115 billion in tax revenue from compliance activities.

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SARS to track down non-complaint PPE vendors

In a media statement issued by SARS, the revenue service found that a lot of companies who are registered as government PPE vendors are not registered as VAT vendors.

These companies have been paid more than R1 million for services, however, they are not paying any tax.

Through data acquired from the Central Supplier Database, more than 1000 companies have been identified and they have all received a total of R6.3 billion.

SARS says it is working towards identifying the owners of the companies and will consider criminal charges where necessary.

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SARS wants to tax cryptocurrencies, considers moving forward with audits on investors

Briefly News previously reported that the South African Revenue Services (SARS) has announced that it will like to institute regulations around cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. They have published a page called Crypto Assets & Tax online, which informs cryptocurrency owners on how they will be taxed.

The reason behind SARS's move is that cryptocurrencies are decentralised and therefore unregulated in most countries as governments are not sure how they should be taxed.

The page states that profits which South Africans make from trading cryptocurrencies will be liable to taxation. The profits will be classed as either revenue or capital, depending on the specific case it applies to, BusinessTech reports.

According to Business Insider, audit notifications have been sent to some cryptocurrency owners which request them to state why they invested in these digital currencies. They also have to submit documentation from the platforms they invested in to confirm how much they bought and earned.

Source: Briefly News

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