The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Friday urged the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country to be tax compliant first if they were to take the message to the masses.
MRA Deputy Commissioner General, Roza Mbilizi, made the appeal in Lilongwe during the national workshop with CSO leaders as a way of enhancing the ongoing ‘Everyone Must Pay Tax’ campaign.
Mbilizi said the Authority would like to have a sustainable working relationship with various stakeholders including the CSOs and that MRA believed that partnership bred compliance.
She said tax payers who paid their taxes voluntarily considered MRA as a partner in business while the Authority took them as partners in development.
“We are engaging CSOs because we want all CSOs in Malawi to be tax compliant and secondly, we want CSOs to take the message of voluntary tax compliance to the members of the general public and encourage them to pay their taxes too,” said Mbilizi.
The Deputy Commissioner General said the Authority would like to see CSOs being exemplary by always complying with tax laws and that once that was achieved, it would be easy for them to streamline taxation issues in the CSOs various advocacy and awareness programmes.
In his remarks on behalf of the CSOs, Chairperson for the Centre for Human Rights Consultative (HRCC), Robert Mkwezalamba, hailed the initiative taken by the MRA saying it would help the CSOs appreciate how the Authority operated and the challenges it faced so that the CSOs could come in from an informed point of view.
Mkwezalamba said if everyone and all stakeholders in the country were tax compliant there would be no need to look elsewhere for donor support which he said was also other citizens’ tax-payers money elsewhere.
“We first need to demystify what MRA is and what its roles are because out there, the public perception of MRA is that of an organization that is out to rob people of their hard-earned money,” explained Mkwezalamba.
He added: “It is such interfaces that will equip us with information on how best can we lobby or advocate for tax compliance and we would be glad to be your ambassadors to the public out there.”
The interface wound up with the selection of a focal committee on the part of the CSOs that is expected to be liaising with the MRA’s Corporate Affairs office in advancing the ‘Everyone Must Pay Tax’ campaign.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :