Voluntary tax compliance helped Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to beat its target for the 2016/17 fiscal year by K42.56 billion having collected K767.61 billion, its commissioner general Tom Malata has said.
In a statement, Malata said all the tax lines, namely corporate tax, pay as you earn (Paye), withholding tax, provisional tax, value added tax (VAT), import duty and exercise duty performed above expectation.
He said: “The exceptional performance is on the account of voluntary tax compliance by taxpayers who honoured their tax obligations by paying taxes due in full and on time.
“Taxpayers also responded well to various modernisation initiatives which MRA has been championing to improve taxpayer services and reduce the cost of compliance.”
Malata said companies, individuals and the public were also supportive towards their enforcement programmes to curb tax fraud, tax evasion and smuggling.
He encouraged businesses who failed to pay their taxes due to “some genuine reasons” to engage the tax agency on the best way to address their tax obligations as required.
In the 2017/18 fiscal year, MRA is projected to collect K918 billion.
Earlier, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe said government has developed policies to improve administrative efficiency, encouraging tax compliance and broadening the tax base to generate adequate domestic resources.
“In the just ending fiscal year, the Malawi Revenue Authority has demonstrated an exceptional performance by collecting tax revenues beyond our estimates. We are optimistic that the exceptional performance demonstrated in the last fiscal year will continue in the 2017/18 fiscal year,” he said.
In an interview, tax expert Misheck Msiska said the increased projections for MRA means the agency is aggressive in collecting revenue.
“What that means is that government is going to increase domestic resource mobilisation so that they are in tandem with domestic tax needs to fund the budget. So, generally, every tax change is moving in that direction so that government is able to collect more to meet the budget demands,” he said. n