• SARS has received more than 80,000 applicants after it advertised 370 positions.
  • It will now appoint 500 people, the tax agency says.  
  • It received R3 billion this year to expand its investigative capabilities and tech skills. 
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The SA Revenue Service (SARS) has received more than 88,000 applications for 500 positions it now has available as part of its plans to improve its tech capabilities and widen its crackdown on people who are evading tax, especially big earners.

Among the applicants were 755 chartered accountants, SARS said in a statement on Thursday.

More than 15,000 of the applicants for some of the new positions were already with SARS.

More than 8,000 of the non-SARS applicants hold degrees, and SARS says there was also “a substantial pool of applicants at Masters and PhD level”.

While SARS initially advertised 370 jobs, it says it will appoint 500 people.

"SARS believes that government alone cannot create jobs and we hope that others, particularly in the private sector, will do their all to give especially young graduates the opportunity to make a start in life by providing internships and, where possible, employing them as a demonstration of our common commitment to building a prosperous future and setting them off in life," the tax agency said in a statement.

SARS says a few positions did not receive enough applicants, and are being advertised again. These include specialists in trusts, custom and excise, corporate income tax, and data analytics. At least six tax auditor positions also still need to be filled.

READ | Some rich South Africans can expect a letter from SARS – here's who should be nervous

In this year’s national budget, finance minister Tito Mboweni announced that SARS will establish a dedicated unit to improve compliance of wealthy taxpayers, and gave SARS an extra R3 billion allocation to expand its specialised audit and investigative skills, as well as boost use of data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities

Among the new positions that it filled is for a director who will focus specifically on wealthy South Africans, and specialists with experience in the structuring of “high wealth” individuals’ finances.

READ | SARS is cracking down on cryptocurrency owners. Here's what you need to know

Among the other new positions were a chief data scientist, a chief technology and innovation officer, as well as specialists in trust practice, regulatory compliance and leveraged legal products. It was also looking for 200 young graduates in the tax, legal and auditing fields, as well as criminal investigators and forensic auditors.

SARS also advertised for SAP specialists, developers, data base administrators and IT security engineers.

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