Well-knitted and massive tax evasion acts involving almost all players in the commercial property market have been discovered and rooting out is now ongoing by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).
At a news conference at Msonkho House in Blantyre, MRA Commissioner General Tom Malata says the development has come to light after enforcement operations conducted by the tax-bull indicated under-declaration and in some cases non-declaration of income by estate agents, managers and commercial property owners.
“Malawi Revenue Authority recently conducted enforcement operations in Blantyre and Lilongwe. These activities have led to seizures of many documents from commercial property owners, estate agents and managers on suspected tax evasion crimes. The seized documents are both in hard and soft copies. Taxes that are deemed to have been evaded are Income tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax (WHT),” Malata says.
He says it is required by law that everyone in the country should declare all their income earnings to MRA for taxation purposes.
The tax revenues that Malawi Revenue Authority collects enables the Government to implement various development projects such as construction of schools, health facilities, roads and bridges and others.
Malata says taxes empower the Government to provide social services like medicine in public hospitals and clinics, learning and teaching materials in schools, subsidised farm inputs to farmers or salaries for civil servants such as teachers, doctors, nurses, the army, the police and the judiciary.
Each act of tax evasion deprives Malawians of these development programmes and social services.
“Tax evasion is a crime. It does not matter who you are or wherever you are, the long arm of the law will get anyone involved in tax evasion. Our appeal as MRA is that all commercial property owners and estate agents should voluntarily come to the Authority, declare their income and pay the correct amounts of their due taxes,” he said.
The commissioner general said MRA has since formed teams that are analysing the seized data and the public will be accordingly updated regarding the magnitude in terms of amounts suspected to have been evaded.
Malata has since encouraged members of the general public not to hesitate but swiftly give MRA details on tax evasion activities.
“Anyone who has such information should use MRA’s Informant Scheme, available in all stations across the country and the Tip-offs Anonymous Service through toll free line number 847. I can assure you, tips that lead to recovery of taxes are handsomely rewarded,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :