Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has challenged local second-hand car importers to utilise the on-going Voluntary Compliance Window (VCW) to reclaim their uncleared vehicles without paying penalties.
In an interview on Sunday, MRA head of corporate affairs Steven Kapoloma confirmed that it was imperative for the motor vehicle importers to declare their uncleared vehicles using the available window.
He said: “MRA is encouraging all those who have uncleared vehicles to declare them using the window and pay only customs duty without any penalties, interests and other charges.
“Generally, this window is open to all businesses and individuals [taxpayers] who are not registered with MRA yet, but have transactions that were supposed to be taxed but were not or have transactions that are supposed to be taxed but are not taxed, among others.”
Kapoloma said so far, the relief window has already helped those that are registered, but not filing tax returns and not paying taxes, among others.
MRA’s call is a direct reaction to complaints lodged recently by the Importers of Used Cars Association that some vehicles cleared through the borders, especially Songwe Border Post in Karonga, are attracting unjustified queries.
In a letter dated May 11 2020 addressed to MRA commissioner general, the association complained that the unjustified queries at the borders was deemed as one way of increasing the prices of the imported vehicles.
The association’s chairperson Henry Nyirenda said deciding the vehicle prices on behalf of the sellers in Japan leaves one to speculate that the revenue collecting body has turned itself into a vehicle seller.
“Therefore, it is only prudent for MRA to proceed with clearing the vehicles where the importer has fulfilled all the clearing requirements, rather than guessing and imposing the prices,” he said.
Blantyre-based tax expert Emmanuel Kaluluma of EK Tax Consultants told Business News last week that voluntary windows act as an incentive to taxpayers; hence, are encouraged elsewhere across the globe.
VCW is a measure that government has instituted aimed at relieving taxpayers from possible shocks of Covid-19 pandemic and the window spans from April 8 to October 31 2020.