Tanzania tax body scores success
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) recorded a landmark in revenue collection for the first half of the 2016/17 fiscal year after registering a total of Tsh.7.27 trillion ($3.5 billion) up from Tsh.6.44 trillion ($3billion) in the corresponding period of the previous year. Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Director of Taxpayers Services and Education, Richard Kayombo said in Dar es Salaam that the increase was equivalent to 12.74% adding that the authority during December alone posted a record high collection of Tsh.1.414 trillion ($700 million). According to Kayombo, the increase in tax collection was achieved through effective collection, emphasis on diligence, improvement of payment systems and covering of all corruption loopholes. “The boost was also precipitated by a mixture of factors such as mineral exploitation, manufacturing and general trade, which had fluctuated
from time to time,” he added. Kayombo said that TRA and security organs have added momentum in the monitoring of all smuggled goods that entered the country. “Several crackdowns have been conducted to check and arrest people responsible for the vice and confiscate all the goods that have been coming into the country illegally to check loss of government revenue,” Kayombo said. In his explanation, Kayombo noted that it is for the purpose of ensuring maximum revenue collection that the revenue authority has encouraged utilization of Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) machines and payments of property tax. He said TRA emphasizes that all traders registered with the Value Added Tax (VAT) have to submit their monthly returns before every 20th of the month as stipulated in the Finance Act, of 2016. Regarding to measures taken to ensure that adequate collection of taxes is realized at food joints that issue normal receipts to people like passengers travelling during the festive seasons he said TRA has been monitoring such places to ensure they issue EFD receipts. Kayombo added that the campaign to ensure that customers are issued with EFD receipts is ongoing to ensure the government gets all payable revenue. Tanzania’s President Dr. John Magufuli recently and often issues a directive to Regional Commissioners (RCS), District Executive Directors (DEDS) and Local Government Authorities (LGAS) to allocate areas where petty traders could conveniently operate. “We are still waiting for necessary instructions to implement the directive so that we could execute proper tax collection measures,’’ Kayombo expounded. He, however, reminded all those who have not verified their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) numbers to do immediately to beat the January 31st deadline. He pointed out that upon expiration of the deadline, no time will be extended to allow as the exercise will commence to up country regions. Kayombo also urged traders with outstanding tax debts to report to districts and regional TRA managers to discuss modes of payment that would not affect their businesses. Real estate owners have also been reminded on the importance of promptly willingly settling their property taxes to avoid inconveniences including legal action being taken against them.