The Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) has asked government to be transparent in the way it uses tax revenues, arguing Malawians are taxed heavily and as such, they need to know how their money is used.
In a case analysis released on Friday, CfSC says taxpayers bear a huge load of taxes in form of pay as you earn (Paye), import duty, value-added tax (VAT) and excise duty, among others.
The analysis comes in the wake of a 2013 Paying Taxes report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Bank Group which shows that Malawi has a tax rate of 34.7 percent which includes a 23.6 percent on profit, 7.7 percent on labour and 3.4 percent on other taxes.
Africa, according to the report, averages 57.4 percent with Zambia on top with 15.2 percent, Lesotho 16 percent, Botswana 25.3 percent and South Africa 33.5 percent.
Some of the countries with a higher rate than Malawi are Zimbabwe (35.8 percent), Sudan (36.1 percent) and Eritrea (84.5 percent).
The study compares tax regimes of 185 economies in the world using a company case study and ranks them according to the ease of paying taxes.
On its part, CfSC case analysis breaks down taxes that a household pays based on such essentials as electricity, transport and communication, among others.
CfSC report looks at a case of an employee who earns K200 000 (about $606) a month and basing on Malawiâ€™s tax regime this person pays K54 750 (about $165) per month as Paye.
CfSC social conditions research programme officer, Alex Nkosi, said Malawians need to know how their taxes are used because they pay one of the highest tax rates in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).
The analysis also gives an example of a person who owns a two-litre engine vehicle. The motorist will be required to pay VAT of 16.5 percent, duty of 25 percent, excise of 16.5 percent and a registration fee of K28 500 (about $86).
On fuel, CfSC says a motorist pays a storage levy of K5 per litre, road fund levy of K35, MBS levy of K0.55 per litre and rural electrification levy of 4.5 percent of landed cost.
This year, the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is required to collect K246 billion (about $745 million) which is about 60 percent of the K406 billion (about $1.2bn) national budget, the deficit to come from development partners and other sources.