AfDB meet praises Dar’s VAT law

TRA Chief Mr Harry Kitilya
The ongoing African Development Bank (AfDB) Annual Meeting here has praised Tanzania’s Value Added Tax (VAT) law describing it as among the best laws in financial management in the continent. 

The sentiments were expressed during a meeting at which preliminary findings of the African Governance Outlook (AGO) report was launched yesterday.

The report states that a good number of African countries have robust legal and policy frameworks, whereby all they require are institutional structures to enhance public financial governance.

According to the report, pilot countries have been implementing comprehensive Public Financial Management (PFM) reform programmes over the past ten years with the aim of enhancing fiscal discipline, redirecting public expenditure to reduce poverty, improve efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditure and improve transparency and accountability in the use of public resources.

Tanzania is said to have performed well in the area of revenue governance thanks to its “comprehensive, up-to-date income and VAT laws and enforcement of this legislation”. Revenue administration procedures in the country are clearly documented and uniformly implemented as provided for through the two laws, the report points out.

The report also urges the development of the taxation procedures court in the country to ensure speedy resolution of tax disputes where they arise as “outstanding”.

“A comprehensive Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) audit plan and operational manual to guide the domestic revenue department has been developed, but implementation has been slow due to capacity limitations,” the report reads in part.

The report also mentions Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal as having shown exemplary performance in tax management.  It shows that in Kenya, tax  is the primary source of government revenue accounting for over 90 per cent of the total. 

As for Rwanda, its Revenue Authority is credited for putting in place a dedicated taxpayer’s service division responsible for ensuring information availability on tax obligations, liabilities and deadlines.

Ghana and Uganda have shown strength in the area of internal control with the quality having improved significantly in Ghana due to the establishment of a special audit agency as an independent entity; whereas in Uganda, there is an internal mechanism through which civil servants can report corruption using phone hotlines and regional offices.
Source: The Citizen,
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