The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has asked consumers to develop a spirit of demanding fiscal receipts for goods bought or services rendered from Value Added Tax (VAT) business operators for their VAT to be recorded and accounted for.
By demanding fiscal receipts or invoice, according to MRA Acting Commissioner General Roza Mbilizi, VAT operators will be forced to use the mandatory Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs), which were introduced to curb tax evasion by non issuance of tax invoices, especially by small and medium taxpayers or VAT businesses.
With the EFDs, sales transactions are monitored and sent electronically through a GPRS modern to the Authority’s central server.
Speaking on Friday during a media training workshop in Blantyre, Mbilizi said the EFDs were implemented to enhance revenue collections by ensuring tax compliance of VAT Registered taxpayers through the use of the Electronic Tax Registers (ETRs).
She, however, said some VAT operators are not using the machines as consumers just walk out of shops without demanding receipts for the items bought or services rendered by the taxpayers.
“MRA implemented these mandatory machines for every value added tax payer to procure, install and use the EFDs to do away with challenges in VAT administration.
“To ensure compliance, the buyers should demanding a tax invoice or fiscal receipt generated by the EFD as this is the only way a taxable transaction will be captured,” said Mbilizi.
She said EFDs provide evidence of sales transactions in a “technically easy and undisputed way” as the daily sales transactions are summarized before being transmitted to MRA’s main server.
“Previously, there was suppression of sales, non-issuance of tax receipts, use of multiple sets of business records, non-remittance of VAT collected and non-disclosure of branches and associated businesses.
“So, the EFDs were introduced to curb these challenges and for the machines to work out perfectly, every consumer must demand a fiscal receipt for goods bought or services rendered from VAT businesses.
“When a consumer pay for a product or service, the machine will register it and at the end of the day transmit details of the all sales to MRA server, making it easy to account for and verify VAT collected on daily basis since the details which VAT operators will be collecting will also appear in our server,” explained Mbilizi, adding that there is also deliberate non acquisition of EFDs by some taxpayers .
She then warned that they clamp down on VAT business operators who are not using the machines and that they be duly prosecuted for flouting tax laws.
During the training, business journalists were taken through several papers on MRA Integrity; Tax Policy, Incentives and Impact on Malawi; Customs and Excise (New Tax Measures); Domestic Tax (New Tax Measures); and update and enforcement of EFDs.
“We need the media to help in disseminating information to the public to report incidences of tax evasion or corruption to either ACB or MRA. Our desire is to have every VAT collected from a buyer recorded and accounted for and used for intended purposes,” said Mbilizi.
It was also noted that there is also lack of knowledge in the administration of VAT to most citizens; lack of consumer cooperation and hostilities towards EFD inspectors; deliberate failure to report malfunctioning EFDs; and impersonation of MRA officers.
And that the number of reported cases is increasing since 2013 as people are now aware of the channels of reporting. In 2013 they received 21 cases, 34 were reported in 2014 and as of August 2015, the Authority has received 53 cases.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :