The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has assured Members of Parliament (MPs) that the tax collecting body was optimistic in meeting the revenue target of K1. 116 trillion set by Treasury as announced by the Minister of Finance in the K2.2 trillion 2020/21 National Budget statement.
Speaking when MRA senior management team appeared before the joint Parliamentary cluster committee of Budget and Public Accounts, the Commissioner General, John Biziwick, said the Authroity had put in place measures to meet the tax revenue target buoyed by reforms that will be implemented to enhance revenue collection.
“We will achieve it. We have put in place measures to achieve it despite several challenges facing the country,” he said.
The Commissioner General noted that the Authority failed to meet the target in the last financial year due to the Fresh Presidential Election and the impasse due to Covid-19 pandemic which negatively affected business operations in Malawi.
He assured the joint committee that the Authority was championing various reform initiatives with a view to broaden the tax net that will not only help MRA increase revenue collection but also reduce the cost of collection.
Biziwick also added that the Authority was enhancing the usage of EFDs through awareness and inspections programmes while at the same time fighting smuggling through regular patrols and taxpayer education.
In addition, he informed the MPs that very soon MRA will start using drones which will be bought from South Africa targeting border areas in order to net all smugglers by using the modern technology.
In this context, the Commissioner General called upon all taxpayers in the country to participate in the Voluntary Compliance Window (VCW) and clear their tax debts as the window allows one to pay the principal amount while penalties, interests and other charges are waived.
Government has projected that domestic revenues in the current fiscal year would be K1.179 trillion, representing 16.5 percent of the GDP. Of this amount, K1.079 trillion is to be collected by MRA as tax revenue while K63.1 billion is non-tax revenue.
Among the reforms outlines by Minister if Finance Felix Mlusu in the budget statement include widening of the tax base to reach out to the informal sector with a strategy to moblise and entice them into cooperatives.
But Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament chairperson Gladsy Ganda said the targets by MRA are “too ambitious.”
Ganda pointed out that the trends between 2014 up to now, the targets are reducing and MRA has been missing the targets, “which would be the same this time around.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :