Tanzania: TRA, Big business rallies traders against EFD use


5 May 2014

Devices for businesses making over 14m/- annually, yet street vendors in protest.

In a bid to continue evading taxes, big businesses in the country are accused of coaxing smaller traders to protest against the use of Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) and in that regard, media has been urged to increase public awareness on the use of EFDs.
Among the points that media has been asked to clarify is that, only businessmen who record an annual income exceeding 14m/- are required to use EFDs.
Speaking over the weekend during a journalists’ workshop on the use of EFDs, Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Tax payers Education Officer, Hamisi Lupenja, said the prolonged reluctance to use EFDs is a direct result of limited knowledge about the devices on the part of traders.

“It is astonishing to see food vendors, shoe makers, vegetable hawkers and other street hawkers taking to the streets to protest against the use of EFDs when they are in no way affected by them,” explained the officer. 

“They are unknowingly being used by big businessmen who seek to continue evading taxes,” he alleged saying big businessmen have been using the unsuspecting petty traders to protest against the use of the devices masking their own tax evasion intentions.

Lupenja insisted that through the media intervention, traders and the public in general will understand the use and importance of the devices and also who is required to use them.

He also clarified that it is not in TRA’s jurisdiction to authorise or stop the use of EFDs but rather:

“The order to use EFDs came from higher authorities and we, TRA, we are just agents. The sooner the traders learn to accept the devices the better because the government will not turn back on the issue.”

Lupenja explained that EFDs are vital in boosting the government’s revenue collection and in turn increasing available socio-economic development funds.
Among other uses of the device Lupenja mentioned checking tax evasion and helping businessmen keep records of their daily business transactions.