How technology facilitated TRA's record collection in 2019/20

22Jan 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
How technology facilitated TRA's record collection in 2019/20

The application of digital technologies in revenue collection by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has facilitated the increase in amount of tax in last year's third quarter.

Commissioner General of TRA, Dr Edwin Mhede.

During the period, TRA collected 4.972trl/-  compared to 4.151trl/- which was recorded during the corresponding period 2018.

Among the new technologies include,  Electronic Tax Stamp (ETS) management system, Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) in addition to online registration of new taxpayers and remission of taxes.

Much as the amount recorded last year failed to meet the target of 5.1trl/-, the amount still represented an increase of 19.78 per cent compared to revenues collected in the third quarter in 2018, according to the Commissioner General of TRA, Dr Edwin Mhede.

Authorities say the achievement by the tax collector is an indicator that taxpayers are responding positively and complying to pay requisite taxes.

“Public awareness on the importance of paying taxes is promising, it is my hope that all taxpayers will continue to comply and no one will be left behind. ,” the taxman remarked.

The breakdown of taxes collected during the period under review indicate that TRA collected 1.484trl/- in October, 1.501trl/- in November while a record was made in December at a staggering 1.987trl/-.

Among others, it is understood that the introduction of the digital stamps are among factors which have enabled the authority to curtail cheating of taxes through under declaration as well as curbing manufacturing and importation of counterfeit products in markets. 

The first phase of ETS was introduced in January 15, this year, exclusively for local and imported beers, wines and spirits while the second phase was enforced on August 1, this year, covering carbonated soft drinks, juices, tobacco products, bottled water in addition to DVDs and CDs.

Figures availed by TRA indicate that implementation of the technology enabled it to post an increase of 34 per cent in excise duty on local and imported spirits and wines between February and October, this year.

A Swiss firm Société Industrielle et Commerciale de Produits Alimentaires (SICPA) won the tender from TRA for supplying software and hardware of ETS. The company offers the same digital solutions for Kenya and Uganda.

Digital Tax Stamps have enhanced technology to allow revenue agencies to monitor in real time the production capacity of manufacturers and also allow consumers to cross check if products are genuine.

They also have a quick response code (QR code) that will allow distributors, retailers and consumers to use an app on their smart phones to verify the authenticity of the products; and a provision for online ordering and approval for delivery of stamps.