Crackdown awaits tax cheating tour operators, miners

14Jan 2018
Edward Qorro
Guardian On Sunday
Crackdown awaits tax cheating tour operators, miners

THE government is keen on tightening the noose on unscrupulous tour operators and mineral dealers notorious for evading tax.

Deputy Minister for Finance and Planning Dr Ashatu Kijaji

Deputy Minister for Finance and Planning Dr Ashatu Kijaji said yesterday that her office will conduct a crackdown on miners and tour operators who continue to fleece the government through tax evasion.

Speaking at a forum hosted by the Arusha business community at the weekend, Dr Kijaji noted that she was aware of some businesspeople from the two lucrative sectors who weren’t complying with tax requirements.

“After having lost billions of shillings in taxes for so many years, we shall not spare them this time round,” she said.

The deputy minister challenged the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to step up crackdowns on dishonest tour operators and miners with a view to exposing them and bringing them to justice.

In a quick rejoinder, chairperson of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) Willy Chambulo assured Dr Kijaji that the association would help the government in exposing unscrupulous dealers.

“We have in our midst dishonest operators who continue to reap big where they have not sowed. We know them by names and we shall expose them,” assured the TATO chairperson.

While agriculture remains a main contributor to the country’s GDP, tourism continues to be the leading sector in terms of foreign exchange, earning the country Sh2 billion annually.

It is closely followed by the mining and energy industries which draw increasing amounts of global investments due to the country’s position as a net exporter of gold and its recent discoveries of natural gas reserves.

Meanwhile, the deputy minister challenged Arusha businesspeople to install electronic fiscal devices (EFDs) in their premises.

This followed recent revelations that the region had registered the lowest number of the machines’ users.

“I call upon law-enforces to squarely deal with those who aren’t ready to install them,” said the deputy minister.