Electronic tax

TRA: Why electronic revenue stamps are the way to go

By Mgongo Kaitira

By Alex Nelson Malanga

Mwanza / Dar. The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) said on Wednesday that electronic tax stamps (ETS) offer mutual benefits to government and businesses, urging manufacturers in the lakes area to embrace the system.

TRA commissioner general Alphayo Kidata said on Wednesday during his visit to the Mwanza plant for Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) that in addition to letting manufacturers know their production volume, the system also sends out real-time production data to government.

“This in turn gives us a chance to determine the amount of tax revenue to be collected from manufacturers,” Mr. Kidata said.

This happens because the ETS allows both the tax authorities and the manufacturer to monitor production volumes and thus prevent misrepresentation and underreporting.

ETS provides a viable means of leveling the playing field for manufacturers, thanks to their ability to track and trace manufactured products.

Indeed, the tracking and traceability system – integrated in the ETS – allows the tax authorities, the manufacturer and the consumer to know easily and efficiently whether the stamp affixed to a product is original or false.

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In this way, TRA is able to protect genuine manufacturers and the economy as a whole from illegal importers and illegal producers.

It also allows authorities to control the entry of counterfeits into the market while providing manufacturers with the tools they need to perform data analysis of their activities.

In his remarks, SBL CFO Matiko Waryana praised TRA for the initiative which he said has helped them increase efficiency in the calculation of drinks produced and taxes payable.

“This system has relieved us of the inconvenience of calculating how much beer we produce and how much tax we have to pay. It even helped us pay our taxes on time,” said Maryana.

The government announced its intention to adopt the ETS system in June 2018 and the first phase of the project was carried out on January 15, 2019, during which stamps were installed on companies that produce beer, wine and spirits.

Phase two of the project was rolled out on August 1, 2019, when ETS were stamped on sweetened flavored water and other non-alcoholic beverages, such as energy and malt drinks and sodas.

The third phase, which involved the registration of electronic stamps on fruit juices (including grape must), vegetable juices (under 20.09) and bottled drinking water, was carried out on November 1 2020.