The South African Revenue Service (Sars) wants to harness the latest in artificial intelligence technology, self-learning computers and Big Data as it struggles to meet revenue-collection targets.
In a statement, the tax authority said its work will increasingly be informed by “data-driven insights, self-learning computers, AI, and interconnectivity of people and devices”.
“We cannot ignore the power of a data- and technology-enabled organisation, and the impact it will have on the future world of work,” said Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter.
To prepare for the changes, the revenue service is looking to hire various senior technologists. It wants to hire a chief data scientist and a chief technology innovation officer, among other roles, and advertised these positions at the weekend.
“The commissioner has also been on an extensive consultation campaign with staff, which has redefined Sars’s strategic objectives. This has created the need for a high-level internal and external recruitment drive to attract highly talented professionals and executives to bring Sars up to speed with advances in Big Data and AI in the tax and customs environment,” it said.
“Sars’s strategic objectives include, among others, providing clarity and certainty on tax obligations, making it easier for taxpayers and traders to comply, detecting those who do not comply, and making it hard and costly for them. The organisation is also in the process of modernising its systems to provide digital and streamlined services and rebuild public trust and confidence in the tax and customs administration.”
While some of the new roles will be filled from within the organisation, Kieswetter said Sars wants to use the opportunity to attract “future-orientated skills” and people who will provide it with “fresh perspective”.
“We cannot simply talk about the fourth Industrial Revolution. It is upon us, and we must redouble our efforts to future-proof ourselves by building an intelligent organisation that will provide a world-class service to compliant taxpayers, but equally detect those who are non-compliant and make it costly and hard for them.” — © 2020 NewsCentral Media