11 January 2013

Tanzania: Firm Fined for Tampering With TRAs 'Kit'

A Dar es Salaam-based firm, Anand Agencies Company Limited, was found tampering with Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) used by Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to keep tabs on a firm's business transactions.

The finding was a result of a crackdown by TRA on unscrupulous businessmen throughout the country who avoid issuing cash sale receipts to customers using the devices or other unofficial records. As a result, the store was issued with a notice and will be required to pay a fine of 3m/- within five days short of which it will be dragged to court and the store will be closed.

TRA's Deputy Domestic Revenues Commissioner, Ms Generose Bateyunga, told reporters in the city yesterday that that they were tipped off by a customer who was given a dubious receipt from the store based in the Centre Business District.

"A good citizen bought a number of items from the shop worth 180,000/- but was surprised to be issued a receipt showing the items were valued at 7,000/-. We will keep on taking tough measures against such acts," she said.

She said her office decided to verify the records on the transaction that took place on January 7 this year with the monitoring devices connected at the authority and discovered the store intended to cheat deliberately.

Ms Bateyunga said there were many such businessmen who have been warned several times to stop tampering with EFDs but have been defiant. Owner of the store, Ms Chandika Chavda was almost short of words as the TRA team and reporters stormed her shop and had to admit to the offence saying it was a 'human error'.

"I admit an offence but I am a human being, I didn't intend to cheat, it was just a human error," she tried to defend herself as her husband was signing the notice. TRA Senior Tax Officer, Mr Abeid Kasaizi said so far over 24,000 EFDs have been supplied to Value Added Tax (VAT) registered businesses across the country and cautioned they must be well used as per given instructions.

He said plans are afoot for the authority to supply another 200,000 devices to non-VAT registered businesses before evaluation is made to establish actual demand of the devices.

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