Wednesday, 19 July 2017

TRA tightens screws on fuel trade cash system

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam

TANZANIA Revenue Authority (TRA) has said the decision to close fuel stations whose owners didn’t comply with its directives of issuing electronic fiscal device (EFD) receipts, was a last resort after fines imposed on defaulters didn’t yield results.

However, the Director for Taxpayer Services and Education, Mr Richard Kayombo, told ‘Daily News’ in an exclusive interview that the aim wasn’t to punish traders or the public, but to “cultivate a culture” of paying taxes as the country was gearing towards a full electronic economy.
He said the system was supposed to be implemented since 2014 but for the sake of making it workable for all, including one EFD serving four pumps, the system and its operations were rescheduled to September, 2016.

“This is why big firms in the industry have already complied with the system and are comfortable with it,” Mr Kayombo noted, citing Total, Engen, Puma and Gapco, as among the big players who had set the tone.

On why some traders are reluctant to use the fuel specialized electronic devices, he responded: “Some traders are hiding their incomes because they have made under-declarations in order to deny the government the deserved taxes.”

The decision, according to him, had pushed traders to pay for the EFDs while others had pledged that they would use the system. Mr Kayombo exonerated the government from blame, remarking: “The traders are to blame because it was easy for them to evade tax. Some had already installed the machines but were not using them; but after the operation, they have started using them.”

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