Member countries under the African Tax Administrations Forum (ATAF) are having a two-day conference on Value Added Tax in Blantyre, Malawi.
The conference which has started on March 1, 2017 is aimed at ‘Priortising Domestic Taxes in Africa’ and it is being co-hosted by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA)
In his address, ATAF Executive Secretary Logan Wort has appealed to tax collectors on the continent to systematically broaden their tax base.
“There has to be proper registration systems so that every business and organisation is properly registered. Tax administrators must make sure that employees from organisations have proper records as taxpayers and incorporate the various sectors that we don’t usually tax here in Africa such as sports, entertainment and property. This will increase the citizenry contribution to taxes and it has the potential of reducing tax rates in the medium to long term,” said Wort.
Officially opening the conference, MRA Commissioner General, Tom Gray Malata commended ATAF for the apt organisation of the meeting at a time developed economies overseas cut donor support to developing countries.
“The impact of this has led to Governments here in Africa to entrust more responsibility to tax administrations to mobilise domestic resources for effective implementation of national budgets and running of public services.
“Malawi has not been spared. For the past 3 years, the country is no longer receiving budgetary support from the international donor community. The Malawi Government has, therefore, been using taxes collected by MRA to initiate various development programmes as well as providing essential and critical social services to citizens,” he said.
The Commissioner General said with taxes, Government is among other constructing roads, technical colleges, schools, hospitals and has been able to procure medicine for public hospitals and clinics; learning and teaching materials for schools.
He encouraged delegates at the conference to ensure that African tax administrators are taking a leading role to sustain reduction of donor dependence through Domestic Taxes to achieve economic sovereignty.
In her welcome remarks, MRA Commissioner for Domestic Taxes, Mrs Nellie Jimu said Malawi’s VAT collections have been growing steadily since the extension from manufacturers to wholesalers and retailers in 2005.
She said VAT is the tax of the day, “I am saying this because VAT is a consumption tax and it has the potential to grow because consumption of goods and services is a continuous process in our economies”.
The Commissioner noted that much as the coming in of e-commerce has reduced the burden of handling hardcopy files, the conference is keen to address some complications when it comes to collecting VAT from online transactions.
The conferences has drawn delegates from Angola, Rwanda, DRC, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Seychelles, Kenya, Zambia, among others.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :