The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says it is optimistic that measures put in place to help broaden the tax base and compliance will help the public tax collector beat its K1.033 trillion target for the 2021/22 financial year.
This, it says, is despite the challenging operating environment worsened by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
MRA Commissioner General John Biziwick said this on Saturday in his keynote address at the 2021/22 New Tax Measures Media Training at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi, where it was also disclosed that the public tax collector beat its 2020/21 financial year revenue target by K28.7 billion, collecting K1.108 trillion against a target of K1.079 trillion.
He said he is banking on the block management system, tax stamps, Msonkho Online and many other strategies which will be employed meticulously to assist broaden the tax net and improve tax compliance to meet the revenue targets.
Said Biziwick: “The block management system is designed to manage tax affairs of individuals, small and medium enterprises by demarcating an area into sizeable and manageable blocks. We will assign officers in these blocks to assist and ensure that everyone within that block is tax compliant.
“To fight smuggling and seal revenue leakages, we are, therefore, extending the use of tax stamps from cigarettes to other products, mainly alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages thereby dealing with the issue of smuggling and illegal production of these products.”
For Msonkho Online, he said the automation of all domestic tax processes and procedures will leads to improvements in management of taxpayer compliance and help taxpayers better fulfil their tax obligations.
In his remarks, Association of Business Journalists secretary general Gregory Gondwe emphasised the need for the media and tax administrators to work together in simplifying tax issues to the audience, who also happens to be taxpayers.
He said: “Because of lack of our own understanding of these issues, we have sometimes taken the side of our ‘ordained experts’ that sometimes are under partisan political influence or merely not understanding it themselves – like the case of paying advance income tax where we were told it was about paying advance custom duty for a car that has not even left the Japanese ports.”
MRA conducts the tax measures training for journalists annually in partnership with ABJ.