MRA justifies new tax measures

The tax collector, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has justified the newly introduced tax measures, including the advance Income Tax (AIT) which compels all businesspersons in the country to be paying 3 percent Value for Duty Purposes (VDP) in advance on any importation of commercial goods and commodities.

Speaking during a three day media training aimed at orienting members of the media in the country on the new tax measures in Mangochi over the weekend, Commissioner General for the revenue body John Bizwick said apart from ensuring tax compliance among the country’s citizenry, the tax measures are also meant to widen the tax base as they seek to ensure that all citizens in the country take part in revenue contribution.

Biziwick added that the tax measures are also in line with the country’s vision 2063 as well as the revenue body’s Cooperate Strategic plan which stresses on the need for the country to generate enough resources locally for continued social economic development.

Among others, the Minister of finance introduced an advance Income Tax (AIT) which compels all business persons in the country to be paying 3 percent Value for Duty Purposes (VDP) in advance on any importation of commercial goods and commodities they make, a development critics say is prohibitive to Small and Medium Entrepreneurs.

But speaking during the media workshop, Bizwick said the advance Income Tax seeks to ensure that government collects part of income tax from all imported commercial goods in the event that an SMEs evades.

The MRA shall also introduce the Block Management System where Small and Medium entrepreneurs shall be categorised into sizeable and manageable blocks within their localities for easy tax administration.

The revenue body also intends to extend use of Tax Stamps on products which are frequently smuggled into the country such as alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages unlike in the past when only cigarettes were being stamped.

During the media training, the MRA Commissioner General therefore called on the media in the country to enhance awareness on the newly introduced tax measures.

“As you are aware the Minister of Finance announced some new tax measures when he presented the 2021-2022 budget. We believe that not all Malawians are aware of these new tax measures.

“It is on this note that we found it necessary for us to organise this particular training for the media in the country. We believe that when the media fully understand these tax measures, they will be able to raise awareness on them to the to general public informatively,” said Bizwick.

On his part, Gregory Gondwe who is the Secretary General for the Association of Business Journalist hailed the MRA for organising the training saying it has enhanced the media practitioner’s understanding on the new tax measures hence they will be able to report on them accurately to the General public.

In this year’s financial plan which shall run from July to March 2022, government has given the MRA a K1.03 trillion target which the MRA Commissioner General is optimistic is going to be attained after the revenue body also managed to beat its K1.079 trillion target in the just ended 2020-2021 financial year.

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