Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) said yesterday that it collected a total of Sh3.84 trillion during the first quarter of the current financial year.
The amount is 5.32 per cent more than the Sh3.65 trillion that was collected in the first three months of the last financial year, TRA taxpayer services and education director Richard Kayombo said in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
The first quarter performance implies that TRA has been collecting an average of Sh1.28 trillion on monthly basis between July and September 2018. This means that the taxman will now have to pull up its socks to get the Sh14.16 trillion balance for the year. In other words, the taxman must net an average of Sh1.57 trillion per month between October 2018 and June 2019 for it to collect the entire Sh18 trillion as expected of it under the 2018/2019 budget.
TRA has been tasked to collect Sh18 trillion to finance a 32.47 trillion government budget.
Mr Kayombo was optimistic that with various strategies in place, they have all it takes to meet the target, banking his hopes on the waiver of interest and penalty, saying the amnesty would likely attract more tax payers.
“As it happens, since tax amnesty came into effect, we have received 1950 requests for interest and penalty waiver valued at Sh185.4 billion,” noted Mr Kayombo.
The minister for Finance and Planning issued Remission of Interest and Penalty Order (Tax Amnesty Order), 2018 effective from July 1 this year and expires on December 31, 2018.
But Mr Kayombo said TRA would be accepting requests until November 30, 2018 so that they can review them in December.
He was also positive about the taxman’s transparency in its dealings, saying it increased taxpayer compliance.
In July, 2018 TRA collected Sh1.2 trillion equivalent to 9.2 per cent increase compared to the same period a year back.
The taxman collected Sh1.27 trillion or 5.86 per cent increase in August this year compared to the same period during the previous year.
Meanwhile, last month, TRA put Sh1.36 trillion in government coffers, the amount representing 1.65 per cent increase compared to last year.
“With transparency in tax collection and expenditure, taxpayers are convinced regarding the need to pay,” he said.
“I’m positive we will collect more during the ‘peak period’ of December. Most of traders have a tendency of waiting until December which is the time for them to close their accounts.”
Mr Kayombo was unhappy with unscrupulous traders issuing receipts that do not show the true amount of money spent on purchases.
He said stern measures, including fines and jail terms, would be taken against dishonest traders.
“We rest our hopes on the shoulders of the 2.75 million registered taxpayers and consumers of their products and services. The former should ensure they issue receipts while consumers must be careful and ensure that they get receipts that show the actual purchases,” he said.