TANZANIA Revenue Authority (TRA) has from today waived the 15 per cent import duty on industrial sugar for use in industries.
The move follows the 2021/22 budget tabled by Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba indicating the government strong commitment to further improve the business environment in the country.
According to TRA Commissioner General, Alphayo Kidata the import duty was among the concerns raised by business people in the country.
“From 1 July 2021 the requirement of 15 per cent will be waived and this is by recent tax reforms,” he said.
He further said for 2020/21 the taxman was supposed to reimburse 57bn/- to importers. So far, this year they have paid 37bn/ – to traders hoping to pay the remaining amount of 12bn/ – this month.
The additional 15 per cent duty on imported industrial sugar to Tanzania was imposed to curb misuse of the commodity by unscrupulous traders selling it on the local market for domestic use, and hence posing unfair competition for local producers of domestic sugar.
In 2018 the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) raised concerns over long outstanding import duty refunds and allocation delays for industrial sugar imports into the country.
They said the additional 15 per cent import duty was a big cost burden for local industries and to delay refunds only makes matters worse for them.
Industrial sugar is used as a key raw material for various food, beverage and pharmaceutical production enterprises in the country.
CTI Chairman, Paul Makanza was recently quoted lauding the reforms saying the tax measures will enable domestic industries to reduce costs of production, improve consumer welfare, promote the use of local materials, enhance competitiveness and stimulate economic initiative.
Mr Kidata said TRA has strengthened electronic systems including Tanzania Customs Integrated System (TANCIS) that operates alongside Tanzania Electronic Single window, which together can process transactions not less than 54,000 per month and helps the taxman boost customs revenue collection.
To curb fake Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) receipts, he said they have developed software to address the challenge whereby all receipts now have verification and Quick Response (QR) codes.
“There are traders who were subjected to unrealistic tax estimates, thus TRA made arrangements to involve them, listen to them and agree on the amount they could pay instead,” he said.
Regarding VAT Returns, the Commissioner said so far TRA has had claims from traders amounting to 844bn/ – but in 100 days of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, they have been able to pay 92bn/-.
Mr Kidata said they have arrived at that decision because the introduction of the Electronic Tax System (ETS) enables the government to address longstanding challenges in the administration of tax on excisable goods.