THE Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) is working around the clock to deal with unscrupulous manufacturers and importers fond of fabricating electronic tax stamps (ETS).
Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango announced recently that despite achievements registered since the first phase of ETS was introduced in January last year, there have been cases of cheating by some manufacturers.
“Some of these dishonest producers have been fabricating the digital tax stamps purporting to show that they have been issued by TRA,” Dr Mpango remarked.
The first phase of ETS was rolled out in January last year through which
a Swiss company SICPA was awarded the tender by TRA to provide software
and hardware for the project.
Presenting the government’s development plan and budget framework
estimates for fiscal year 2020/2021, Dr Philip Mpango said the country
has witnessed a considerable rise in revenues during the first seven
months of the 2019/2020.
The former World Bank economist noted however that there was a need to
sustain the achievements recorded in revenue collections through ETS and
electronic fiscal devices (EFDs).
“…TRA will continue deploying technology through the use of electronic tax stamps and electronic fiscal devices in Dar es Salaam to boost revenue collections”, he elaborated.
So far, a number of cases have been filed at the Kisutu Resident’s Magistrate Court in Dar es Salaam where nine people have been arraigned for allegedly fabricating the electronic tax stamps.
The suspects are facing 28 charges of tax evasion and occasioning a loss of 31.57bn/- to the government by forging the digital tax stamps.
During the first seven months of the current financial year, TRA collected revenues amounting to 10.62trl/- which was equivalent to 96.9 per cent of a target of collecting Sh10.96 trillion during the period.
Just recently, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Budget Committee, Mr Mashimba Ndaki, hailed ETS for sealing loopholes of tax evasion for products which are subjected to excise duty.
The digital stamps have played an important role in boosting revenue collection. They should thus be installed at all factories which produce excisable products,” he said during a visit at TRA offices and some industries which are using the system.
Mr Ndaki went further to urge the TRA management to keep a close eye of some its employees who could be colluding with manufacturers to abuse the system.