Kariakoo halts after EFDs protest
2 September 2014
Business at Tanzania’s busiest commercial enclave of Kariakoo in Dar es Salaam almost came to a standstill yesterday as most traders refused to open their shops, protesting the introduction the Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
A ‘Daily News’ survey witnessed a number of shops along all streets in the sprawling enclave stopped as many customers, some of whom had travelled all the way from upcountry to purchase their requirements were stranded. A number of traders who spoke to the ‘Daily News’ said that they have reached such a decision to protest the use of EFDs following the inspection campaign launched by TRA and the Police Force to inspect the use of the devices among traders countrywide.
“They are forcing us to use the EFDs, which are very expensive and also too inconvenient. We won’t resume business until this matter is resolved,” said one of the traders who said he owns a phone shop. “Using EFDs will be tantamount to working for TRA, which is totally ridiculous.”
The trader stated that he was not going to do any business only to end up paying some of his earning to the TRA.
Another businessman, Athumani Seif, said TRA should sit down with them to find another appropriate tax payment system instead of using EFDs, which he claimed are ‘’a big rip-off.’’
“I don’t think this idea, which they are enforcing on us will succeed. They will keep on forcing us and we will keep on resisting and at the end of the day it won’t help rather than causing more impact. I, therefore, think that TRA should sit with traders and find another more appropriate means,” he said.
However, the TRA Director of Education and Taxpayer Services, Mr Richard Kayombo, said they won’t stop the already started inspection campaign, as they were doing it in accordance with the laws governing orderly business. He warned that non-compliant traders will face stern measures.
“The protest by some traders will not stop the exercise which has started since two weeks ago. Those who want to close their businesses because they don’t want to use the gadgets can do so. Those who want to keep on doing business must make sure that they comply with the use of the devices,” he said.
The TRA publicist said a number of problems concerning the use of the devices among the traders were revealed just a few days after the exercise started.
“A recent inspection has revealed that most traders haven’t procured the device while some are using fake EFDs (unregistered devices by TRA),” he said, adding that some traders have also been issuing forged receipt to customers while some traders had actually bought the device but have not been using it.
Mr Kayombo went on to explain that they will keep on conducting the inspection campaign countrywide and all those using unregistered EFDs as well as those who don’t want to use the devices will face legal measures.
“I call upon all the traders in the country to comply with the use of the devices to avoid any inconveniences as well as ensuring accurate records for their transactions,” he appealed.
Mr Kayombo said that any of those traders who will be caught mobilising others to protest against the campaign will face legal measures too as that was also against the law.
“The police force is keen in supervising this exercise and therefore, those who want to close their businesses should better do it on their own because any kind of mobilisation for collective protest will not be tolerated since that is against the law,” he observed.
According to TRA, the EFDs, which also have to be adopted globally, was introduced to help the government levy appropriate taxes and ease the collection process.
Also, they help business owners keep accurate records for their transactions while clients are assured of purchase records.
Source: Daily News