TANZANIA Revenue Authority (TRA) has recorded impressive performance by paying over 400bn/- to tax payers countrywide as VAT refund.
VAT refund is money paid back by the tax authority to entitled tax payers. This is done in a particular prescribed accounting period when tax liabilities are not exhausted by allowable deductions.
It is also done where a tax payer's returns for prescribed accounting periods regularly result in excess credits.
TRA Commissioner General, Mr Alphayo Kidata revealed that during a joint meeting which was attended by over 300 medium and large tax payers in Bukoba Municipal Council on Wednesday.
Elaborating, he said cumulatively the tax payers were demanding about 1tr/- while TRA managed to pay over 400bn/- in the said period.
"This is an impressive achievement. President Samia Suluhu Hassan is keen to ensure that tax payers conduct their business in conducive environment. The government is implementing various people-oriented projects to speed up development," he said.
The TRA Commissioner General appealed to tax payers to adhere to voluntary tax payment noting that no country in the world had developed without paying taxes.
He advised taxpayers to use online submission of tax returns and ensure they get receipts on all purchased products.
Mr Kidata appealed to Tanzanians to pay taxes as required by the law to enhance economic development and avoid unnecessary inconveniences that may occur due to non-compliance.
All business people must ensure that they pay the taxes on time. This will enable the government to render the necessary social services including health, education and other sectors.
He appealed to taxpayers to visit the nearest TRA offices for necessary guidance and also urged traders to ensure that they utilize Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs), while customers should demand receipts for goods they purchase.
"Contravening the directive is an offense and is punishable. A person convicted for non issuance of EFDs receipt or demanding a receipt for goods is liable to pay fine ranging between 30,000/- to 1.5m/-," he warned.
Mr Kidata urged entrepreneurs to be honest and trustful when conducting their business in line with government directives. They should also not hesitate to expose big traders who evade paying taxes by using small-scale traders and hawkers to sell their goods.
Also, they should report corrupt leaders who would use the opportunity to get quick money from wananchi. "Government has much trust in you. Be honest and expose such people to relevant authorities for necessary action," he said.
He noted that tax evasion is a criminal offense whereby a person convicted of the offense was liable to a maximum fine of 20m/-. A person who discloses such acts could also get a reward equivalent to 3 per cent of the amount.
The Commissioner advised business persons to contact TRA offices to get Tax Clearance Certificates (TCC) and Trade Officers to get business licenses.
" I urge you to support the government initiatives by educating people on the importance of paying tax to speed up the national development. This will be realized through tax compliance.
All business people must ensure that they pay the taxes on time. Customers should ensure that they get receipts for goods they purchase from traders by getting EFDs receipts," he said.