TANZANIA Revenue Authority (TRA) has recorded an increase of 34 per cent in excise duty on local and imported spirits and wines between February and October, this year, thanks to the rolling out of the two phases of Electronic Tax Stamp (ETS) management system.
According to TRA's Deputy Commissioner General, Mr Msafiri Mbibo, the authority collected 77.8bn/- during the period under review compared to 58.2bn/-which was recorded during the same period last year, translating to an increase of 19.6 per cent.
Similarly, collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) for the alcoholic drinks jumped by 30.6 per cent during the past ten months to 23.5bn/-while excise duty on carbonated drinks and bottled water surged by 8.7 per cent to 10bn/- between September and October compared to the same period last year.
The TRA's second in command explained further that since the second phase of ETS was introduced, the authority posted 19.5 per cent increase on VAT to 14.1bn/-from soft drinks and bottled water.
ETS has been cited as among key factors for increased revenue collections by TRA and Mr Mbibo was highly optimistic of additional revenues through the digital stamps.
"The government is committed to creating a level playing field for all manufacturers. All products subjected to excise duty must be fixed with ETS. "The new system will not only increase revenues and curb tax loopholes but it will protect local producers and importers against counterfeit products in the market," he stressed.
During the past four years of the fifth phase government under President John Magufuli, TRA has managed to collect a staggering 58.3trl/-compared to 34.97trl/- which was collected during the preceding four years.
Apart from ETS, tightening of tax loopholes and introduction of Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) have been much-admired for generating additional revenues for the Treasury coffers.
The introduction of the digital stamps has been touted worldwide for curtailing cheating of taxes through under declaration as well as curbing manufacturing and importation of counterfeit products in the market.
Tanzania introduced the first phase of ETS on January 15, 2019 in which the ETS management systems were installed at 19 companies which produce beers, wines and spirits.
The first phase came into being on August 1, this year, and it covered locally produced and imported carbonated soft drinks, juices, bottled water in addition to DVDs and CDs.
A Swiss firm Société Industrielle et Commerciale de Produits Alimentaires (SICPA) won the tender from TRA for supplying software and hardware of ETS. The company offers the same digital solutions for Kenya and Uganda.
Among others, the company is involved in provision of secure digital solutions for traceability of products subject to excise duties, such as alcohol and tobacco stamps, and regulated products, such as halal products.
The company is among worldwide leaders in security inks for currencies and sensitive documents including identity documents, passports, and transport and lottery tickets.
According to the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau's International Anti-Counterfeiting Directory, SICPA provides more than 85 per cent of the world's currency inks.