MRA admits presence of fake EFD machines, receipts

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has admitted the existence of both genuine and fake Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) and receipts on the market but defended the development, saying it is not affecting its revenue collections targets.

Kapoloma: It is not possible for traders to evade tax by using ordinary roll paper

MRAlaunched the EFDs in 2014 inorder to enhance tax collections by ensuring tax compliance of Value Added Tax (VAT) registered tax payers.

MRA’s pomposity of beating revenue targets despite this conspicuous anomaly even got a nod from Malawi Finance Czar Doctor Goodall Gondwe, during his presentation of the midterm budget review, a week ago.

“Domestic Revenue that amounted to K400.2 billion outpaced a target of K378 billion by 5.7 percent. Tax revenue overperformed by 7.7 percent.  The annex shows that large increases were particularly discernable in import based taxes as well as income and profit taxes that scored increases of 9 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.

“These improvements in domestic revenues are largely due to the improved efficiency of the MRA, but they also point to a surge in the economy that increased the tax base.  Moreover, some significant tax reforms that accompanied the 2016/17 budget are believed to have contributed to this result,” Gondwe said.

But two years down the line, MRA unashamedly admits that there are two kinds of receipts and EFDs on the market which are confusing consumers.

Nyasa Times visited several shops in Mangochi, Liwonde and Blantyre and discovered that most receipts which customers were getting after buying various goods lacked key features of a legal MRA receipt.

For instance, many receipts had a single black logo on top of the receipt which is in contradiction with a legal EFD receiptas it has to have a black logo on top of the receipt and several coloured logos of MRA embedded in the receipt, according to

In an emailed response MRA Corporate Affairs Manager Steven Kapoloma admitted the presence of two kinds of receipts on the market he said the usage of these two different kinds of receipts is not compromising revenue collection.

“It is important to know that the use of ordinary roll paper does not affect the information of the recorded sales. The logo can only be printed on the roll paper if the Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) is connected to MRA.

“Fake receipts in whatever form will not have the logo and words reading ‘start of legal receipt’ and ‘end of legal receipt’. Therefore, it is not possible for traders to evade tax by using ordinary roll paper as the information is never altered by a type of roll paper that has been used,” Kapoloma said.

He continued  saying that the legal receipt starts with‘start of legal receipt’ and ends with‘end of legal receipt,’ a thing which is not included on the six key features of the fiscal receipt.

MRA revealed that there are only 10,000 VAT registered traders across the country saying those without the EFD machines on counter are obliged to use income tax receipts which they pay though wholesalers when ordering goods.

Though MRA says other traders pay VATthrough income tax receipts, NyasaTimes still found hordes of Traders that are still shunning use of the EFD machines because it eats into their profit margins.

“The Authority  is also conducting a countrywide tax registration exercise for businesses coupled with several enforcement activities on a daily basis where we monitor taxpayers physically in their trading places and through our system to ensure acquisition and usage of EFD machines,” Kapoloma said

To ensure that VAT is rightly paid, MRA says that it is conducting a massive public awareness campaign where members of the general public are being encouraged to always demand fiscal receipts and report any fraudulent activities by traders.

“Our appeal is to encourage each and every Malawian to sustain the practice of always demanding fiscal receipts from every VAT registered trader for every purchase made,” he said.

  • The Center for Investigative Journalism and the National Integrity Platform with financial assistance from GIZ supported this story’.

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5 years ago

Surely you expect MRA to really help us on this fake receipts? Iwowa amadya momwemo!!!! Secondly Tima fake receipts tawoti tikuma fufutidwa ma lembo and yet on one seminar they told us these would stay at least 5 years. It is pathetic because if we are to keep legible figures, we need to photocopy these receipts. An extra cost that can be avoided if MRA we people of integrity. Let them make a follow up on this issue.

5 years ago


5 years ago

anyone who has a fake one can sell it to me.
im looking for one.
i earn moey and have to pay 30% tax 17.5% Vat thats nearly 50% taken by the govrnment and the next day my house and shop get robbed due to the police an government not having enough resources to have basic security. im left with 10% of my hard earnt sweat.
what bloody justice is this?????

5 years ago

Mra are boosting about 10 thousand EFD subscribers,it’s not even 1% of the population using it!
They are millions of people advertising on Facebook, and trough other channels by selling their goods without VAT!!
and they allways targeting the shops
What type of play field is this?
Bloody unreliable government! !!

lilongwe kwathu
lilongwe kwathu
5 years ago

Why is it only Malawi lagging behind in adopting technologies that are improving transparency and accountability?
Anzathu onse they are using cards, online payments but for us we want to move with millions of
Malawi Kwacha and people are taking advantage to steal in these Government Institutions.

5 years ago

Its unbelievable to hear that there are only 10,000 vat registered traders in the whole country. MRA needs to up its game more to see to it thatthose hiding their income thresh hold are brought to book and get to register for VAT.

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
5 years ago

Fake Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) are meant to conceal the actual profit a business entity has made on a day, a week,
a month and a year. It is a practice through which traders use in order to pay less tax to MRA. The current legislation in
force is adequate to deal with the situation but it ought to be backed by the Forfeiture Act which saved Malawi’s economy
from plunder. Concealing tax or producing fake receipts did not happen. Sadly, some businessmen vehemently opposed it
to their advantage, and it was repealed.

5 years ago

Ife zopatsana ma targets zo zatikwana. Imagine we are paying vat even on sweets. How safe are we? If the target is made, where does the money go?

Now the police have joined, we heard they were asked to meet target. We are suffering in the roads akulipilitsa chilichonse. Sunapange ngozi, sunayime polakwika koma if no red triangle akuti u have to pay. Ukanunkha mowa ngakhale usanapange ngozi, akuti ulipire. Its too much.

Those cashgaters money bwanji osawalanda and put to RBM.

MRA ayeneradi to check there are many fake ones in town.

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