South African Revenue Service

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South African Revenue Service
South African Revenue Service Logo.png
South African Revenue Service
Agency overview
JurisdictionGovernment of South Africa
HeadquartersPretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Employees15,000 (2010/2011)[1]
Agency executive

Coordinates: 25°46′22.06″S 28°13′56.13″E / 25.7727944°S 28.2322583°E / -25.7727944; 28.2322583

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is the revenue service (tax-collecting agency) of the South African government. It was established by legislation to collect revenue and ensure compliance with tax law. Its vision is to be an innovative revenue and customs agency that enhances economic growth and social development, and supports South Africa's integration into the global economy in a way that benefits all black citizens.

In accordance with the South African Revenue Service Act 34 of 1997, the service is an administratively autonomous organ of the state: it is outside the public service, but within the public administration. So although South Africa's tax regime is set by the National Treasury, it is managed by SARS.

SARS aims to provide an enhanced, transparent and client-orientated service to ensure optimum and equitable collection of revenue.

Its main functions are to:

  • collect and administer all national taxes, duties and levies;
  • collect revenue that may be imposed under any other legislation, as agreed on between SARS and an organ of state or institution entitled to the revenue;
  • provide protection against the illegal importation and exportation of goods;
  • facilitate trade; and
  • advise the Minister of Finance on all matters.[2]

SARS provides an online portal to individuals, tax practitioners and businesses via its SARS eFiling website.

SARS has undergone structural reformations that have benefited notorious and alleged south african criminals such as Mark Lifman and close colleagues of the former South African president Jacob Zuma, who are allegedly involved in cases of corruption, fraud and money laundering, under the leadership of currently suspended SARS commissioner, Thomas Moyane.[citation needed]


Prior to the establishment of SARS, the tax collecting agency of South Africa was called the Receiver of Revenue. The first income tax act in South Africa was introduced in 1914.[3]


  1. ^ "People at SARS". South African Revenue Service. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  2. ^ "Official website of the South African Revenue Services". Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Key Revenue Sources: A Brief History of Income Tax and VAT" (PDF). Finance Standing Committee. South African Revenue Service. 14 February 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2018.

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