MRA launches news systems to improve efficiency, transparency in tax and customs laws administration 

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has launched three innovative platforms that will be enabling all tax payers, mainly importers and clearing agents to engage with tax collecting body anywhere and anytime without going to its offices.

Secretary to Treasury Ben Botolo (second from left) with MRA Commisisoner General Thom Malata being congratulated: Looking on is FDH bank boss Quottara
Some of the tax payers and invited guests at MRA’a triple launch of the systems

The products–ASYCUDA WORLD, E-Payment and Document Validation System, were officially launched in Blantyre on Friday.

Speaking at the function, MRA Commission General Tom Gray Malata said the platforms will also enable the Authority to maximising revenue collection through fair, efficient and transparent administration of the country’s Tax and Customs laws while providing high quality service to all taxpayers.

Malawi told the gathering that they would want to be a modern, professional and efficient revenue authority that provides first class service to all stakeholders.

“While pursuing service excellence, we saw importers and clearing agents walking with piles of papers to our offices. Our officers battled with clearing agents on the status of their declarations.

“Every month, on due dates for remitting taxes, we always see long queues of taxpayers who are keen to pay their taxes. We have seen fraudsters using fake Customs documents, fake tax clearance certificates to deceive and externalise funds. These challenges were deplorable in 21st century and by a body seeking first class service for its customers,” he said.

According to him, the ASYCUDA world, E-Payments and Document Validation platforms will be enabling tax payers to transact with MRA In a green paperless environment; pay taxes using various channels depending on the bank capacity to embrace modern technologies; and to verify and authentic MRA documents through QR codes, mobile phones and the web portal, respectively.

“Don’t just accept MRA documents; authenticate it. With this system, we would like to warn all unscrupulous traders who were beating the system by providing the banks with fake documents that those days are over.

“A new era is born and it is here to stay. We have total security. You have total convenience,” asserted Malata.

The launch of E-Payment and ASYCUDA World has come after a successful implementation of other reform projects namely: Cargo Scanners and the Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFD).

He also said they have embarked on a robust system that will integrate all domestic tax operations through a system called Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS).

On his part, Secretary to Treasury, Ben Botolo, who was the guest of honour, said with the systems—which are part of the public sector reforms— importers, clearing agents and taxpayers will be able to commence and complete tax and customs transactions online.

Botolo observed that the systems will in short to medium term significantly improve the country’s way of doing business as measured by the World Bank.

“Besides eliminating delays at the border, ASYCUDA World will enable the tax administration to obtain prior Customs data which will be crucial for planning and risk management in order to put a level playing field for all importers as well as sealing possible revenue leakages. So, I urge all players to use the ASYCUDA World,” he said.

The key component of ASYCUDA World is the integration of Valuation control to support clearance of goods and also check the status of the declarations whether under-paid or overpaid.

The system will also be able to profile the importers basing on the risk involved hence improve compliance of the traders and increase revenue.

ASYCUDA World will benefit the Government by way of increased revenues, due to implementation of valuation control and speedy clearance of goods at the borders. Traders will also benefit by reduced costs of doing business as a result of improved clearance times both at borders and inland stations.

On the other hand, Clearing Agents, Shipping and Freight forwarding will benefit through more flexibility and easy access to customs systems for online updates of transaction being payments of taxes or submission of documents 24 hours.

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5 years ago

Congratulations MRA, however I recall what my audit lecture told us in those days at Poly. He said that no matter how elaborate systems of control are, they can always be easily beaten by / through collusion of the officers.
Check this out Mr Malata. Otherwise this is is a good move.

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