3 September 2014

Tanzania: EFDs Protest Uncalled for

IT is a disturbing thing that a section of traders in Dar es Salaam and upcountry have received the introduction of electronic fiscal devices (EFDs) by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) with such undue protest to the extent of closing shops.

EFDs, also known as Fiscal Memory Devices, are modern- day tax computation gadgets being used in controlling a country's tax revenues. They are widely used in a number of countries around the world, Tanzania being one of the latest compliant countries.

EFDs, which have so widely been preferred as a proper tax registration device, have a number of pluses, including possession of an in-built Fiscal Memory, which cannot be erased by mechanical, chemical or electromagnetic interferences.

They have an automatic self-enforcing Issuing of daily "Z" report after every 24 hours; transmitting tax information to the TRA system automatically.

Equipped with an irreversible date mechanism, it issues fiscal receipts/invoice which is uniquely identifiable while it can be used as a stand-alone and configured into a network.

They also have at least 48 hours power back-up, and it can use external battery in areas with no electricity supply. It beats the imagination of many right-thinking people as to why some traders in the country have chosen to oppose the introduction of the EFDs, which have been adopted globally, for the purpose of helping governments levy appropriate taxes and ease the collection process.

The machines also help business owners keep accurate records for their transactions while customers are assured of purchase records.

So why all the fuss if one may wonder out aloud; there is only one plausible explanation for such show of resistance and that is the selfish motive by some business persons to cheat the tax collection machinery by not keeping accurate records of their transactions.

These are the very business people hell bent on making the "fast and illegal buck" at the expense of the shoppers, most of whom do not even ask to be issued with receipts for their purchases, which is criminal on the part of the traders.

Things have just got to change to ensure all-round fairness; the government is assured of proper tax revenue, the business person is assured of rightful earnings from the goods sold while the customer is assured of the rightful prices. So let it be it.

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