MRA says Malawi tax rate low in SADC region

 The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has said tax rates in Malawi are lower than in most of the countries in the southern region of Africa.

MRA Head of Corporate Affairs Steven Kapoloma:  Malawi rates lower

Head of Cooperate Affairs, Steve Kapoloma made these remarks in an interview onTuesday in reaction to widespread concerns from the public that the revenue collecting agency is overtaxing Malawians.

 “Malawi rates are comparable to other countries in the region and in some instances lower. This is supported by data from a study conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) comparing Malawi and countries within the region like Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Kenya among other.

 “A recent look at monthly income tax rates for individuals, commonly known as Pay as You Earn shows that it is 30 percent here in Malawi. PAYE in South Africa is 41 percent, Zimbabwe at 50 percent, Mozambique 32 percent and Tanzania 30 percent,” Kapoloma said.

He warned that MRA would deal with any type of tax evasion in the country to make sure that the body meets its goals.

According to Kapoloma if more people pay tax it would improve people’s lives through construction of new roads, schools, hospitals and others hence the need for citizens to voluntarily pay tax or expect a fight from tax evasion by MRA.

He said the coming in of Electronic Fiscal Devises (EFDs) was the capstone in the automation of Malawi’s Value Added Tax (VAT) system which is part of reform and modernization initiatives which MRA has been implementing under the Public Sector Reform Programme.

“EFDs have led to steady growth in VAT collection as it is now much easier to verify transactions with VAT registered businesses. The sustained demand of EFD receipts by members of the general public has also proven very crucial in ensuring that the tax is well accounted for,” he said.

He said that cumulative VAT collected in the 2015/2016 fiscal year was K175.93 billion, which was short by K10.33 billion from the estimated K186.27 billion.

While in the 2016/2017 financial year VAT collection totalled K237.73 billion up by K29.35 billion from the projected K208.38 billion. The movement registered a year on year growth of 35 percent.

“This is against an average annual VAT collection growth of only around 10 percent recorded in the prior 4 years before EFDs were introduced,” he stated.

MRA came in 1998 and was officially launched in 2000 as an amalgamation of the department of customs excise and Income tax that were under ministry of finance.

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concerned citizen

You compared the PAYE tax rate with those countries but did you compare the salaries of civil servants in those countries with Malawi? The prices of goods in those countries compared to Malawi are low. Low salaries and high prices of goods is what makes life unbearable in Malawi hence, people feel you take a big chunk of their salaries in taxes.


This man is simply stupid. Should we really be bench marking with failed states like Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia? Tax in Malawi is the highest, even matumbo are taxed. Not that I complain of being taxed, nix. But my contention is that nobody sees where that tax is being used for. To say the truth, I think those who evade paying tax are not exactly wrong.

nkhwiri inokwa

Mr kapoloma this is malawi its not those countries,, malawi is worse,,everything is tax soda, mchere, machesi, ngakhale mpani wambewa is tax,,,somebody getting 100, 0000 is paying close to 30, 000 as tax but that does not end there you go to buy mchere there is tax even water tax as if we are importing it,,MRA is a shame


This guy must be very stupid, taxes on everything including water and now u want to go to churches


Compare the economies of the mentioned countries with Malawi.

People do not have problems with high taxes rather we have a very big problem with how our taxes are being used. We pay taxes to keep govt administration moving forward, closing the gap that exist between the rich and poor, by providing necessities like drugs in our hospitals. We simply pay taxes to develop our Nation-Malawi not otherwise. Compare like with like Mr Kapoloma. It could be wise if you could talk also about GDP per capita of such countries. Do the people live on US$1/day or more? We pay 15%+30% on PAYE and 16.5% on consumables=61.5%. Simple arithmetic… Read more »

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