People in Malawi urged to pay taxes

Malawi Revenue

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has implored the general public to pay their fair share of taxes and avoid tax evasion in order for MRA to achieve the 2023/2024 financial year target of K2.11 trillion in tax revenue collection.

This is according to MRA Commissioner General John Bizwick who was speaking on Friday at the end of a two day training with members of Association of Business Journalists (ABJ) on New Tax Measures in Mangochi district.

Bizwick said though the K2.11 trillion target is so threatening, the authority is so optimistic that it may achieve the target as it has introduced initiatives that will boost revenue collection in the country.

He further mentioned that looking at how the authority achieved its target and even surpassed the revised target by K1.3 billion last year, there are hopes that the projected K2.11 trillion will be achieved but encouraged the citizenry to pay their fair share of taxes.

The Commissioner General revealed that among other initiatives towards achieving the target is door to door registration of new taxpayers in central business district of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba cities.

“I’m very optimistic. It’s a huge amount but we think there are opportunities there, which we have not really taken advantage of and that’s why in my presentation, I talked about widening the tax net in terms of new initiatives, the block management system, where we shall go door to door in the CBD, door to door in terms of registrations of new taxpayers.

“We also talked about the collection of rental income tax, which we have not done up to now. But we are also bringing in a new valuation database to manage our customs collections. So we are taking several initiatives, and we are hoping that we should be able to collect the K2.11 trillion,” said Bizwick.

He added that the other important factor towards achieving the target is the need to deal with the issue of tax evasion which he said has seen the country losing K100 billion every year.

Bizwick mentioned that underdeclaring of imports and the overinvoicing of exports has robbed the country K100 million a development which he said has also contributed much to foreign exchange challenges the country is experiencing.

“What we are saying is that all this money ends up as foreign exchange somewhere and no wonder maybe some of the foreign exchange problems we are having as a country because, the excess money supply, which Reserve Bank is experiencing, is also coming from tax evasion which we have to deal with. But lucky enough we are putting up systems to make sure that we reduce this tax evasion so that we are able to collect the taxes which we should be collected,” he added.

He further added that MRA is also looking at widening tax net by bringing new initiatives, broadening the tax base, as well as operationalization of the msonkho online which is expected to be operational by the end of September, this year.

In the 2022/23 financial year, MRA registered a surplus of K1.4 billion having collected K1.5 trillion and the 2023/24 financial year, MRA is projected to collect K2.111 trillion, representing a growth of 37 percent.

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