TRA, traders’ team up against tax evasion

Mr Kiula
Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and the business community have agreed to adopt Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) effective next month, a move that is observers say will curb tax evasion and theft of transit goods.

TRA Acting Director of Taxpayers Service and Education Allan Kiula said in Dar es Salaam on Thursday that the move will enhance efficiency in curbing dumping through penetration of transit goods into the local market.

Studies show that the country looses over 25bn/- monthly due to fuel adulteration, dumping and compensations of lost transit cargo.

The malpractice, according to Mr Kiula, subjects the government into huge loss of government revenues due to offloading of untaxed transit goods into the local markets.

He said electronic tracking systems could be the most effective and relatively less costly option and one of the key strategies to be adopted by both public and private institutions in the efforts to reduce loss as well as unnecessary expenditures.

The government received funds from Development Partners toward the cost of Tax Modernization Program, and applied part of the proceeds of the fund to payments under the contract for the Supply, Configuring and Implementation of ECTS.

Trucks at Tunduma boarder post, Tanzania
Mr Kiula said the electronic sealing wire prevents any attempt at opening, bypassing, or tampering with the Electronic Seal.

The system detects any such attempt, records the event, and sends an alert to be received in the central data base system at the TRA.

He said with the technology, it will be possible to track down and even arrest truck drivers who tamper with cargos, reducing complaints of loss or fuel adulteration from the cargo owners in the neighboring countries. 

According to TRA, the system is expected to become operational next month, monitoring the movement of goods under custom control up to the point of exit in the boarders.

The project operates under self-financing arrangement where the taxman shall acquire the ECTS software and cover communications costs, while transporters acquire electronic seals and related equipment from approved hardware supplier by purchase or leasing.

The tax agency has provided three months from March 12, this year, for transporters of transit goods to acquire the gadgets or forfeit their businesses.
Source: The Daily News,www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Sebastian Mrindoko
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