By Tikondane Vega
Thyolo, Mana: Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has said it was committed to ensuring that taxpayers adhere to voluntary tax compliance as the revenue authority continues with strategies to deal with tax evasion, smuggling and tax fraud.
In an interview, MRA Head of Corporate Affairs, Steven Kapoloma said the authority was always grateful to taxpayers who voluntarily pay taxes in good time while regretting the tendency by some businesses people and companies that fail to pay tax for various reasons.
“We encourage such people to visit MRA offices so that we can address their challenges to make them to comply with tax obligations,” he said Thursday, that MRA would ensure that tax payers are responsible enough to pay their tax and abide by all tax obligations in good time.
Knowing that some individuals and companies evade tax, the MRA has several divisions that have strategies to enforce tax compliance.
“To deal with tax evasion, MRA has put up several strategies such as putting in place a fully-fledged audit teams across the country responsible for tax enforcement apart from a tax investigation unit division whose mandate is to enhance voluntary tax compliance by combating tax fraud and fiscal evasion,” Kapoloma said, adding that the authority has patrol teams in the country whose duty was to apprehend tax evaders that do business without paying tax.
MRA has engaged local leaders such as chiefs to educate their subjects on the danger of aiding smugglers and the benefits of reporting smugglers to MRA.
“Through these initiatives MRA has registered success in intercepting and seizing smuggled items including illegal sugar, cement and tobacco cigarettes among other goods, the authority will not tire in its efforts to enforce tax compliance,” he claimed.
Kapoloma is encouraging the public to report suspected cases of goods smuggling, tax evasion and tax fraud using the Toll-Free Line 847 for Airtel, TNM and Access and 80000847 for MTL adding those providing relevant tips are rewarded under a robust informant scheme.
In the past, MRA splashed K38 million to successful informant and one individual accumulated cash amounting to K 2 million.
In the 2016-2017 financial year, MRA disbursed rewards amounting to K 45 million to informants as the revenue authority gave tax defaulters opportunity to pay their taxes under Voluntary Compliance Window for a period of six months to provide them some relief.
Tax collected by MRA helps government in several ways including buying medical drugs, paying salaries for public servants, constructions of roads and schools and other infrastructures among other essential services the country need.