By Bester Kayaye
Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says it is committed to improve standards of service delivery in the taxation processes in a bid to create a room for tax voluntary compliance as well as building community confidence.
MRA Board Chair Vizengwe Kumwenda made the declaration during the launch of taxpayers’ charter at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.
Among other things, the charter stipulates the rights and obligations of taxpayers as it contains standards for service committed to taxpayers and other stakeholders.
Kumwenda said the launch of the Charter is a significant demonstration of MRA’s commitment in providing excellent service to taxpayers as through the Charter, the Authority is committing to work in line to its core values of highest level of integrity, transparency, utmost courtesy, fairness and respect when serving taxpayers.
He said; “The Domestic Resource Mobilization Strategy for 2021 – 2026 challenges us to widen the tax base and increase revenue collection. On the other hand, The MRA Corporate Strategic Plan for 2020 -2025 has set a goal of growing revenue collections in line with the Gross Domestic Product GDP and Government policy guidelines.”
“These twin objectives of enhancing revenue collection can only be achieved if taxpayers voluntarily comply with their tax obligations. To promote voluntary tax compliance and public confidence in the tax system, the tax administration must adopt a service-oriented attitude towards taxpayers by ensuring that taxpayers have the information and support they need to meet their tax obligations.”
He also said the Taxpayer Charter has spelt out timeframes in regards to every service rendered by the Authority hence taxpayers will no longer need to ask how long a particular service will take or how much it will cost.
“The Authority is committed to serve within the stated time frames provided you have done the right things. We will provide accurate, consistent and clear information to help taxpayers understand their rights, entitlements and meet their obligations.”
Kumwenda called for cooperation from taxpayers if they are to benefit from rights enshrined in the charter saying “under the Charter, taxpayers are expected to be truthful and cooperative in their dealings with us, take reasonable care and meet their tax obligations as they fall due as highlighted by the Commissioner General.”
“The Authority expects taxpayers to honour their tax obligation such as registering for tax, keeping records, filing accurate declarations and paying taxes on time, among others.”
In his remarks Malawi Confederation Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) representative, Arnold M’bwana expressed optimism that the charter is a welcomed development considering it has clearly spelt out numerous rights conferred upon taxpayers and other relevant obligations as regards to the same.
M’bwana, who is also CEO for Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM), said: “It is pleasing to have the Taxpayers’ Charter finally launched and having browsed through it, one can easily understand the rights and obligations of a taxpayer, which is necessary for mutual benefit of taxpayers and the Authority.”
“It is our expectation that through the Charter taxation processes will be now seamless, and faceless unlike past scenarios whereby many were failing to comply with taxation laws due to lack of adequate information and lengthy processes.”