TRA: Buses to have EFDs too–but later
The Tanzania Revenue Authority has said it is collaborating with several other stakeholders including the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra) in implementing the use of electronic fiscal devices (EFDs). In a note emailed to this paper yesterday, the agency said they were jointly engaged in overseeing the proper administration of the transport sector in the country.
“Police deal with entire enforcement of the regime to ensure that the transportation of people and goods is safe, fair, simple and transparent,” it added, clarifying a front-page news story published in yesterday’s issue of this paper.
The agency said the idea was not merely to install EFDs in commuter buses so as to arrest overcharging of unsuspected travellers as the actual fare would be recorded. The plan has nothing to do with control of transportation costs, high fares prices and neither will the use of the devices necessarily provide relief to travellers as such, it added.
“However, the use of EFDs as a tool to capture sales will ensure that everybody is provided with an EFD receipt to provide assurance to a passenger that the right receipt is issued, tax contributions to the government have been made and the owner of the bus pays the right tax based on sales generated from the machines,” it elaborated.
TRA director of Education and Taxpayer Services Richard Kayombo said in later remarks to this paper that the current (second) phase of the use of EFDs, which takes effect mid next month and is meant to cover 200,000 entrepreneurs, would not involve commuter bus transportation – “but that time will finally come”.
TRA assistant commissioner (Domestic Revenue) Generose Bateyunga and principal taxpayer education officer Hamisi Lupenja stressed during talks with editors in Dar es Salaam earlier this month that the agency was determined to ensure that all people supposed to pay tax are identified and reached and actually pay correctly assessed amounts
They underlined the need for TRA to cast the tax net much wider than is now the case, which would mean diversifying sources of revenue instead of targeting only traditional ones such as are found in the formal sector, alongside gradually and strategically plugging notorious loopholes. The officials explained that EFDs were assets ensuring fairness and transparency in tax assessment as well improvement in the compilation of business records while minimising pilferage, maximising profits, and ultimately raising VAT revenue collections.