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Taxman puts on notice cross-border traders who dodge tax through fake electronic stamps

Wednesday February 17 2021
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Senior officer from TRA headquarters in Dar es Salaam, Mr James Ntalika.

By Hawa Mathias

Mbeya. Cross-border traders in Mbeya and Songwe regions, who dodge tax through the use of fake Electronic Tax Stamps (ETS), will face the music, a senior Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) officer has said.

Mr James Ntalika, a senior TRA officer has said that while the taxman has launched a door-to-door and shop-to-shop education on tax payment, it was also keeping an eagle eye on smuggled products which do not carry genuine tax stamps.

“In line with the ongoing public awareness campaigns, we are also patrolling the borders with a view to identifying unofficial routes and seizing smuggled products which are sold in the market with fake tax stamps,” he said.

Those who will be identified as dodging tax payments through the use of fake tax stamps, said Mr Ntalika, will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Some traders told The Citizen that they need the taxman to educate them on how to differentiate genuine ETS’ from fake ones as well as on Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFD) and their right use.

They said at times, they were being forced to run away from TRA officials because failure to use EFDs exposes them to unfair tax assessment by the taxman.

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Alphan Hassan, who operates a wholesale shop here, said the tax collection procedures that have been used in the past created enmity between TRA and taxpayers.

“They would use force to collect tax. To us as traders, we thought that was total abuse of their powers and that was why we found no reason of cooperating. Besides, their assessments were mostly high,” said Mr Hassan, noting that the ongoing public awareness campaign would result into the two parties coming back to friendly terms.

TRA Regional Manager in Mbeya, Ms Eunice Liheruka said on Tuesday that the ongoing education will be conducted in a friendly manner and called upon members of the business community in the area to cooperate. “That way, they will benefit from education on why they should pay tax and the significance of digital tax collection mechanisms,” she said.

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