Acts of continued tax evasion promoted by dishonest entrepreneurs have angered President Peter Mutharika who has challenged that Malawi can be financially independent of donors if every tax is rightly collected.
Over K50 billion in tax revenue is currently stuck in court cases as many of the businesses involved in the practice of tax evasion have sought relief from the judiciary through stay orders and injunctions.
Mutharika told MBC’s Mgeme Kalilani in the latest edition of Talk to the President that tax evasion is an evil that is fast-killing Malawi financially.
“We have to be patriotic because we rely on tax to build roads, schools, hospitals, pay salaries for the public sector, the Police, the Army, teachers, doctors and nurses. But still some people are selfish enough to think for themselves only by evading tax. These are the same people who are in the forefront crying out that there are no drugs in hospitals and that we have bad infrastructure,” said Mutharika.
He said Malawians should learn to pay taxes voluntarily and warned his government will do everything to root out tax evasion.
Mutharika then urged the business sector to embark on import substitution ventures to prevent unnecessary loss of forex through imports such as toothpicks, fruits, cotton buds, and bottled water.
Meanwhile, buyers across Malawi have been urged to request and verify fiscal receipts from Valued Added Tax (VAT) registered businesses for every purchase they make.
Fiscal Receipts are generated by Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) to address under-declarations and tax evasion when it comes to VAT revenue collection.
Malawi Revenue Authority Enforcement Manager Bentry Khonje said, by simply asking for Fiscal Receipts when making each and every acquisition from VAT registered businesses, consumers will be exercising their rights and also be playing a huge role in enforcing tax compliance.
He said members of the public should not be cheated by traders that transactions without Fiscal Receipts reduce commodity costs.
“As consumers we must also learn to check if what is on the Fiscal Receipt is indeed what has been bought. This is because other VAT registered businesses do print out the Fiscal Receipt but with cheaper products in order pay less or no VAT. Let us be patriotic and encourage tax compliance by demanding Fiscal Receipts, always,” said Khonje.
According to law, every VAT registered business is supposed to visibly display its VAT Registration Certificate and it is expected of them to issue Fiscal Receipts for purchases made by consumers.
Khonje said MRA must promptly be alerted if VAT registered businesses are not issuing Fiscal Receipts.
He said tax malpractices can be reported to toll free number 847 for Airtel and TNM subscribers or 80000847 for MTL subscribers. Informants can also send their tips to the Centre through email address:[email protected] or fax to 0182 229.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :