8 November 2012

Tanzania: TRA Registers 754 Billion Monthly Record Collection

Photo: The Daily News
Tanzania Revenue Authority Commissioner Harry Kitilya (file photo)

TANZANIA Revenue Authority (TRA) registered a record 754bn/- collection in September, being the monthly highest ever, where three firms were awarded for best compliance in meeting their obligation in payment of tax.

The National Microfinance Bank (NMB) emerged most compliant and contributor at national level and was awarded a certificate of merit during the 6th Taxpayer's Day organized by TRA in Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) and the Tanzania Cigarette Company Limited (TCC) emerged top winners in tax revenue contribution.

The Vice-President, Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal, said the outstanding performances in revenue collections was among the government's achievements in building the domestic capacity and independence to execute development goals. "The government is committed to improve policies and systems to ensure that every single taxpayer fulfils the obligation of paying tax timely and without being forced," he said.

Dr Bilal urged TRA to be firm in uprooting all corrupt elements in the institution and curb tax evasion to ensure that government efforts aimed at modernising its operations succeeds. Earlier, the Finance and Economic Affairs Minister, Dr William Mgimwa, said the revenue collection for September has put a record in the history despite various challenges including inefficiency at the Dar es Salaam port in handling and clearance of cargo.

Dr Mgimwa said talks with development partners aimed at improving efficiency at the port have reached an advanced stage. Dr Mgimwa was reacting to the concerns raised by the TRA Board Chairman, Mr Bernard Mchomvu, who cited port inefficiencies, poaching and tax exemptions among hurdles faced by the authority. Mr Mchomvu said studies carried out by tax experts show that consumers were not benefiting from exemptions because prices of the commodities remained high.

"The government should act critically on this area because massive revenues were falling into the hands of few business persons. He cited sugar and rice prices which have remained high despite tax exemptions granted to importers," he said. Dr Mgimwa said the government was currently revising the tax exemption regulations to ensure that they lead to increased productivity instead of frustrating revenue collection efforts.

The TRA Commissioner General, Mr Harry Kitillya, said in 2011/12, TRA exceeded the targets by four per cent and in the first three months of revenue collection this fiscal year, it managed to post outstanding performance at 95 per cent of the targets. During the function, the Executive Director of Tanzania Women Bank, Ms Margreth Chacha, was awarded best woman leading an institution that has been supporting women in various business undertakings which create new taxpayers.

The top ten compliant taxpayers from different sectors under the category of large taxpayers included Estim Construction Company Limited (Engineering), NMB (Financial), Sopa Management (Hotels) and TBL (Manufacturing). Others are the Resolute Tanzania Limited (Mining), TPC (Processing and Distribution), Freight Forwarders (T) Ltd (Transportation), Simba Telecom Tanzania Limited (Telecommunication) and Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area (Tourism).

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