Tanzania mulls single system of taxes, levies collection

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What you need to know:

  • Dr Kijaji says the single collection system will allow business operators to pay one amount that includes taxes, fees and levies, and all the institutions will receive their shares later

Dar es Salaam. The government is preparing a single system for collecting taxes, levies and fees related to businesses as part of the ways to reduce trade barriers and improve the local business environment.

The minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji, remarked at the weekend during a public-private sector dialogue in Mbeya to discuss how to solve various challenges faced by businessmen.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, businesses are currently supposed to pay the levies, taxes and fees for different government institutions, which include the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and municipal councils, among many others that have been proving cumbersome and expensive for the businesses.

Dr Kijaji said the single collection system under preparations will allow the business operators to pay one amount that includes taxes, fees and levies for all the institutions that will later be given their shares from the consolidated fund.

According to her, the business community has been complaining about multiple taxes for a long time as a factor for the collapse many businesses.

“We have already heard the complaints  and the government continues with discussions to establish a single system for tax collection in one basket. Each institution will get its share and thus reduce the inconveniences,” she said.

In another development, Dr Kijaji said that the governments of Tanzania and the United States of America have established a chamber of commerce in the US for facilitating business cooperation between the two countries.

She called on Tanzanians to ensure integrity when doing business to avoid damaging the country’s image in the international markets, adding that the opportunity of the American market is important to be protected along with other international markets.

In another development, she said the ministry is negotiating with Turkish Airlines about starting the export of avocados produced in Tanzania.

For his part, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Industry and Trade, Dr Hashil Abdallah, said the ministry has been cooperating with various agencies to end fake goods imported into Tanzania and protect local industries and people’s  health.

He instructed the institutions responsible for product quality management to continue taking action against those who violate laws.

“We cannot allow people to import fake products. These are dangerous to our economy and to the lives of the people. So let me assure you that we will continue taking action because the safety of Tanzanians is in our hands,” he said.

The chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) Mbeya Region, Mr Erick Sichinga, said the influx of taxes has been causing misunderstandings between businessmen and government institutions.

For her part, a representative of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Ms Victoria Michael, said some councils and regions in the country have been introducing various charges that conflict with the government’s business environment improvement plan.

She said the aim of the programme is to solve the commercial problems traders face, but when new taxes are introduced in the local councils, it creates new problems.

The executive officer of the TCCIA Songwe Region, Mr Elijah Simbeye, advised the government to solve tax problems, including removing some taxes from different government institutions by putting them in one basket to remove the inconvenience.