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Technology pushes revenue to new heights

TANZANIA Revenue Authority (TRA) on Tuesday said the new records in revenue collection registered last year were largely contributed by the application of electronic solutions.

In the third quarter last year, the revenue collection amplified to 4.97trl/-compared to 4.151trl/-which were recorded during the corresponding period 2018.

The TRA Commissioner General, Dr Edwin Mhede said much as the amount recorded last year failed to meet the target of 5.1trl/-, it still represented an increase of 19.78 per cent compared to revenues collected in the third quarter in 2018.

Among others, the authority has introduced electronic tax stamp (ETS) management system, Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) in addition to online registration of new taxpayers and remission of taxes.

Dr Mhede said the achievement by the tax collector is an indicator that taxpayers are responding positively and complying to pay requisite taxes.

“It is my hope that all taxpayers will continue to comply and no one will be left behind. Public awareness on the importance of paying taxes is promising,” the taxman remarked.

The breakdown of taxes collected during the period under review indicate that TRA collected 1.484trl/- in October, 1.501trl/-in November while a record was made in December at a staggering 1.987trl/-.

The TRA’s Acting Director for Taxpayer Services and Education, Mr Richard Kayombo, was recently quoted in a televised interview stating that the authority had among others been able to curb smuggling of products through use of technology.

Among others, it is understood that the introduction of the digital stamps are among factors which have enabled the authority to curtail cheating of taxes through under declaration as well as curbing manufacturing and importation of counterfeit products in markets.

The first phase of ETS was introduced in January 15, last year, exclusively for local and imported beers, wines and spirits while the second phase was enforced on August 1, last year, covering carbonated soft drinks, juices, tobacco products, bottled water in addition to DVDs and CDs.

Figures availed by TRA indicate that implementation of the technology enabled it to post an increase of 34 per cent in excise duty on local and imported spirits and wines between February and October, last year.

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.

Digital Tax Stamps have enhanced technology to allow revenue agencies to monitor in real time the production capacity of manufacturers and also allow consumers to cross check if products are genuine.

They also have a quick response code (QR code) that will allow distributors, retailers and consumers to use an app on their smart phones to verify the authenticity of the products; and a provision for online ordering and approval for delivery of stamps.

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Mwandishi: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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