Public tax collector Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is upbeat that given the existing economic factors in the country, it will meet the K245.9 billion (about $983.6 million) target set for the 2012/13 fiscal year to finance government expenditures.
MRA commissioner general John Biziwick said this in Blantyre on Tuesday when he opened a day-long media workshop to sensitise journalists on the new tax measures introduced in the national budget.
â€œThe budget passed in Parliament has given us a task to collect K245.9 billion. It is mandatory for MRA to achieve the target. We are convinced that, as MRA, we are going to meet the target based on the prevailing economic factors such as availability of forex, projected economic growth, the recent devaluation of the kwacha and continued availability of fuel,â€ he said.
Biziwick also said MRA has set out a number of strategies to achieve the target.
Some of the strategies include continuous modernisation and automation of processes and procedures; enhancement of revenue enforcement activities, improving taxpayer services and also taxpayer education and awareness.
On the removal of some taxes in the 2012/13 fiscal year that were originally in the 2011/12 national budget, Biziwick observed that at the end of the day, a tax should be easy to collect as where it is difficult or it causes unnecessary friction with the public, then it needs to be looked at properly.
â€œWe are a listening authority. So, some submissions which were made to government in terms of some taxes which were imposed were removed in response to the concerns that were raised by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry,â€ he said.
At the workshop, MRA highlighted the amendments to the Taxation, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Customs and Excise Bills, 2012.
In his presentation, one of the facilitators, Francis Magombo, highlighted that income tax measures have mainly affected minimum tax on turnover, tax on capital gains, pay as you earn (Paye) and withholding tax (WHT), taxation of pensions and corporate tax on mobile phone operators, among others.
The most important amendments to the VAT Act on the other hand include the removal of VAT on supplies such as bread, newspapers and banking, to mention a few, which were previously subject to VAT before the 2012 amendment.