Tan­za­nia tax body scores suc­cess

East African Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - BY TI­MOTHY KITUNDU

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.

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