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TRA vows to take stern measures against ghost consultants

3rd January 2013
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Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)

The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has vowed to take stern measures against people posing as tax consultants while they are not registered by the responsible government organ.

A press statement issued by the agency yesterday said all practicing tax consultants must be registered by the Commissioner for Domestic Revenue.
“It is an offence under the Income Tax Act Cap 332 to practice as a tax consultant without being registered with the Commissioner for Domestic Revenue,” the statement said.

The statement advised the public to avoid use of services of a person not registered as tax consultant because such services would not be entertained.

In its adverts circulated to the media, TRA said it has registered 19 people who will be working as tax consultants in various regions effective this year.

Newly registered consultants are coming from Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Manyara regions. Registration of tax consultants, is under Section 131 of the Income Tax Act, 2004.

TRA said practice standards are formulated with the view to inculcate good tax practice by way of ensuring a high standard of tax compliance and representation so as to achieve some objectives namely nurture the spirit of professionalism among tax consultants so as to ensure that all work performed is objective, impartial, efficient and comprehensive.

To instill the spirit of accountability in line with tax principles/practices that are in accordance with existing tax legislations/regulations.

The measure is also aimed to uphold the spirit of social responsibility consistent with public morality and compliance with this code of ethics will be used as one of the criteria for approving and renewing the licence of the tax agents, it said.

“In this code, ‘tax consultants’ means a tax agent as approved under Section 134(2) of the Income Tax Act, 2004,” it said.

In practicing as a tax consultant, a consultant shall always adhere to integrity and provide quality services to clients so as to enable them to comply with the provisions of the Act and Regulations.

He must be well mannered, honest, sincere and truthful when handling client’s affairs and shall furnish the Commissioner or other officers of the agency with only such information as to the best of the Consultant’s knowledge and belief, is correct.

Experts say, the role of the tax consultant has evolved from being an intermediary merely assisting in completing a tax return to a person who is expected to understand the impact and requirements of the increased emphasis and harmonization of tax legislation upon the affairs of the clients.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN