The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is introducing new tax measures that will boost revenue collection by using the Msonkho Online electronic platform to track down defaulters of taxes.
According to MRA, the new measures will empower workers to track whether their employers are complying in the payment of the Pay As You Earn (Paye) which is deducted from monthly salaries.
MRA head of corporate affairs Steven Kapoloma said this at the Association of Business Journalists (ABJ) Annual General Meeting (AGM) held over the weekend in Salima.
Kapoloma said the newly gazetted tax measures, to come into force next year, will require employees to register with MRA on the Msonkho Online platform. Each employer will be given an individual tax number to enable them to log in to MRA online platform to update their tax records.
This intervention comes in the wake of increased reports of companies which deduct Paye from their employees without remitting the same to MRA.
According to Kapoloma, the major challenge in Paye collection is that MRA is using manual system, making it difficult for MRA to know which employer has not remitted the tax at the right time.
“These new measures would enable the MRA to track the Paye that companies submits to us and it would enable us to get to the root of companies that are collecting Paye but not remitting the same to MRA, so it will help us to improve on revenue collection,” said Kapoloma.
Earlier, MRA deputy commissioner general Roza Mbilizi conceded that revenue collection was poor last year owing to the poor performance of Paye, which MRA found to be strange.
However, MRA projected to grow Paye by 13 percent this year.
In this financial year, MRA projects to collect K961 billion, 14 percent above last year’s revenue collection projection.
Kapoloma said MRA has been able to build a campaign towards tax compliance by citizens but challenged the media to do more reporting on exposing investment opportunities in the country.
ABJ national coordinator Aubrey Mchulu said the association has had significant impact on the country’s media industry to the effect that currently there is specialised type of business and economics reporting.
“We have seen journalists specialising in business and economics reporting, we have seen media houses both print and electronic establishing business desks and business programmes which was not the case before ABJ was established in 2014,” said Mchulu.
Before the meeting, ABJ members observed a minute of silence in honour of former Finance Minister Mathews Chikaonda who died last week in the US.