Over 300 Apply to MRA for a Waiver on Tax Penalties & Interests
Over 300 tax payers have expressed interest seeking a tax penalty waiver and other exemptions from the Malawi Revenue Authority through the voluntary compliance tax window.
MRA Head of Corporate Affairs Manager, Steve Kapoloma, says applications have been received by the tax collecting body since April 8 from importers, traders and some business people indicating willingness to declare their tax arrears.
“We have registered a significant level of success in terms of people being aware of the window at the same time, a very impressive number of applications to seek a waiver on penalties and other charges,” said Kapoloma.
The widow which will remain open up to October 31, 2020 was opened as a strategy by MRA to cushion the economic effect of Covid-19 pandemic among the business community.
Kapoloma told Zodiak Online that business players who had tax arrears before April 8 have been accorded the opportunity to pay only the principal amount minus penalties and interests as is the case in normal transactions.
This, he emphasized, is a rare opportunity which MRA gives to tax payers once after so many years.
He said, “we want more people to come forward declaring that they are ready to be tax compliant, they are ready to be back on board and comply with the law.”
Meanwhile, while commending the initiative, Indigenous Business Association President Mike Mlombwa said MRA should not be waiting for crises like Covid-19 to make such offers, relieving business players of some tax burdens.
"If they do this often, I am sure MRA will be collecting enough revenue to finance various development projects in the country because people also want to make profits from their small business but they are failing,” observed Mlombwa.
He claimed local business players are pressed more on taxes than foreigners hence not coming on board to declare their taxes.
The tax collecting body insists the window was opened not only to relieve business players of the tax penalties this Covid-19 period but also to promote tax compliance spirit hence no target set on how much they anticipate to collect at the closure of the window.
“We shall however be updating the nation on how much has been collected,” said Kapoloma.
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