Monday, July 17, 2017
Tanzania is able to collect up to Tshs. 17 trillion
TAXATION pundits remain optimistic that the country is on the right track to collect the projected 17.1tri/- in tax revenues in the 2017/18 fiscal year. With the 2016/17 tax collection target of 15.1tri/- met by over 95 per cent, the government’s newly outlined measures to widen the tax base will help in attaining this year’s ambitious goal. Speaking with the media in an exclusive interview over the weekend in Dar es Salaam, a day after the government announced the collection of 14.4tri/- in the previous fiscal year, analysts commended the government especially for its dream of getting rid of donor dependency. The newly introduced property tax on both surveyed and non-surveyed homes at the rates of between 10,000/- and 50, 000/- is among factors that will strongly contribute to the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA)’s achievements. TRA announced on Tuesday last week that it had collected 14.4tri/- in the previous year, an increase of 7.6 per cent from the 13.3tri/- collected in the previous year. However, the tax collection agency missed its target of 15.1 tri/- by 700bn/-. A lecturer with Mzumbe University, Dar es Salaam Campus, Professor Honest Ngowi, said “The collections are not bad although TRA needs to strengthen its efforts to attain this year’s target of 17.1tri/.” The economist argued that there is a challenge to recover the missing 700bn/- gap, remaining hopeful, however, that TRA will do better, with big boost expected from well managed collections from land and houses. “But, improving the business environment will help the country toenhance the government revenues because traders will not fear to do businesses,” the don advised, commending the appointment of Professor Florens Luoga as TRA Board Chairman. Professor Delphine Rwegasira from the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM)’s economics department appreciated TRA progress, saying the authority is most likely to achieve its future targets. “For a country like Tanzania, this (14.4tri/- collection) is a great achievement … TRA has slightly missed the target but I agree they have done a recommendable job. We have to appreciate,” said the don, adding: “TRA should now double efforts to achieve the new target.” The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget, Ms Hawa Ghasia congratulated TRA for the achieved milestone, saying the country is heading towards donor-independency budget.