Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) on Thursday impounded about 213 bales of second-hand clothes suspected to have been bought without issuance of valid fiscal receipts and under-declaration of sales.
MRA head of corporate affairs Steve Kapoloma said on Friday at the public tax collector’s Ginnery Corner warehouses where they were off-loading the goods in the presence of the media that the bales were intercepted in Limbe in transit to Mangochi.
“We have seen that the owners of these bales have not paid value added tax [VAT] which means that the traders have not issued VAT on all the 213 bales that we have intercepted. They have paid VAT on some bales while some bales literally have no VAT paid,” he said.
Kapoloma further said the second offence was that of under-declaration.
“We have seen that these bales in any ordinary market value would cost above K120 000 to K130 000 each, but the amount on the VAT receipts we have collected are far much below the market price which is K80 000 and K60 000.
Non-issuance of an electronic fiscal device (EFD) generated receipt is an offence that attracts a penalty of K500 000 or 10 the value of VAT involved, whichever is greater in line with Section 46 (a) of the VAT Act while under-declaration attracts a penalty of K5 million or 20 times the value of VAT involved, whichever is greater.
“However, if we take the matter to court, upon conviction by the court, the suspects may be liable to a fine of K1 million and imprisonment for two years in line with Section 469 [b] for the non-issuance of an EFD receipt offence.
“[As for] the under-declaration offence, the suspects may be liable to a fine of K10 million and imprisonment for five years in line with Section 46 [b],” he said.