The Mozambican Tax Authority (AT) forecasts tax collection in 2018 of 222 billion meticais (US$3.73 billion), excluding payments from the foreign investment megaprojects.
In 2017, the AT collected 202.25 billion meticais which was more than 8.5 per cent greater than its initial target.
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on 23 January, after a meeting between the AT and Maputo business people, the general inspector of taxes, Augusto Tacarindua, said that the AT could very well exceed its target for this year too, since it is currently updating its database of taxpayers.
He announced that as from 1 February the AT will fine all taxpaying businesses that fail to issue invoices or receipts. But the likelihood of any serious implementation of this threat is minimal - AT documents show that in the last quarter of 2017, out of 3,924 taxpayers, only 704 issued invoices.
Tacarindua also threatened fines for printing companies which print invoices without due authorisation, and for taxpayers who use invoices printed by unauthorised printing companies, or who use electronic mechanisms for issuing invoices without due authorisation.
During the meeting, some participants complained that the AT sometimes sends three or four brigades to a company to carry out the same kind of inspection, within a short space of time. Such overlapping audits, said businessman Antonio Langa, make it difficult to deal with the documentation that should be presented.
"In the same year we receive four audit teams and they are not coordinated", he said. "When the first team arrives we hand over all the material, and before we can adjust the other papers another team arrives. This complicates our activities".
AT chairperson Amelia Nakhare admitted that what is laid down in the legislation is different from the reality found on the ground. Nonetheless, she urged her audience to obey fiscal laws scrupulously, otherwise they risked being penalised.