That comes after the government’s recent stance in ensuring that tax payments among business persons and entities remain a friendly and voluntary process unlike in the past when most people regarded revenue collection as some form of extortion, creating enmity between them and the taxman.
“We are here to hear from taxpayers on how the Tanzania Revenue Authority can further improve voluntary payment of government revenues because unless people are willing to settle their dues, it will be difficult for us to collect state taxes with ease,” explained the TRA Director General, AlphayoKidata.
Among the topics discussed was how TRA would update, repair or replace defunct electronic fiscal devices used by its clients, he said.
A meeting with business representatives took place at the Arusha International Conference Center (AICC), officiated by Regional Commissioner John Mongella. He asserted that listening to customers was the best way of ensuring long time profitable relations.
“The reason for the government to introduce the e-filling system as well as EFDs was to ensure that cumbersome paperwork processes that used to irk taxpayers are removed so that much of the procedure is done at one’s own convenience,” he said.
“The TRA has taken the right step in meeting, hearing from and talking to taxpayers so that any problem arising can be mutually solved,” he stated, pledging that his office was working on the same strategies in ensuring that the business community here remain on good terms with authorities.
Richard Remed of the Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA), lauded TRA for taking the initiative of consulting taxpayers on how the two parties can best work together.
“At the end of the day, most problems arising were not even problems but rather a communication breakdown between TRA and the business community,” he declared.
Arusha, which contributes around 5.2 percent of total revenues ranks third after Dar-es-Salaam and Mwanza, thus an important centre for tax collection.