Dar es Salaam: The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has said that importers should be blamed for any congestion at the Dar es Salaam Port because they delayed to clear their goods. TRA's Taxpayers Manager, Ms Rose Mahendeka told East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam last week that the importers take the blame for the congestion at the Dar es Salaam Port since they take more time to clear up their consignments.
"When the importers ask for goods, they should send to TRA a clearance letter two weeks prior to the arrival of her/his goods. Many wait until the goods arrive at the port then they start processing at the last minute, this will definitely cause congestion at the ports," Mahendeka said.
Mahendeka added that used motor vehicles have been a big challenge when imported, the importers normally don't identify the models of the cars and the origin country of origin, this automatically creates a slow clearance of some vehicles. Many vehicles are imported from Japan and Dubai and price on tax paying differs because they must consider their country of origin, she added.
There are also goods which come to the country for International Trade Fair exhibitions and they are always given a priority by the TRA. All full containers loaded goods are fully taxed and they pass through the embassy.
"We clear them quickly and we give them our officer to accompany them to the exhibition ground to ensure they don't sell the sample without paying tax," she insisted.
"If the trader decides to sell the samples, must pay tax or if decide to destroy or abandoned them in the country also should get permission from TRA," she added.
In Tanzania, any goods that are imported for exhibition were not taxed.
In order to boost government revenue, TRA has been always insisted that traders register with Value Added Tax (VAT) so that could be given the TRA's machine which issues the receipts to their customers to ensure equitability in tax paying.The TRA's Assistant Regional Manager for Kinondoni, Ms Rehema Shao said that most of the dishonest traders have been "killing" the system of taxpaying because they don't issue receipts to their customers.
"We have been making follow up to business people, we suspect have been doing this illegal act, once we caught them, we highly fine them," she said.
Also she added, "we have been sending our officers to their businesses and stay for a whole day to see if they issue with TRA's receipts to their customers or not."
During the 1996/97, the Government fiscal policy was set to enhance revenue collection and improve expenditure management through expenditure control measures aiming at restraining the fiscal deficit. On the revenue side the measures that were implemented included the strengthening of tax administration through the establishment of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).