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Government says Malawi safe on tax

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The Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has said despite not signing some treaties, Malawi is still safe on issues of tax.

One of the treaties on tax matters which government is yet to sign is the African Agreement on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters (AMATM).

In an interview yesterday, Director of Revenue and Policy, Chrispin Kulemeka, said there are a number of treaties that government signed in the past, which help in its tax collection drive.

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Kulemeka said in 2012, during a Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Summit in Mozambique, government signed an agreement on tax.

“The Agreement was signed by Heads of State and Government and Malawi’s Head of State duly signed the Agreement. The Agreement has 19 articles covering tax examinations abroad; assistance in tax collection; exchange of information; it covers all types of taxes, among other topics,” he said.

He added: “The sole objective of this Agreement is to enable the State Parties to assist each other in tax matters. Malawi signed the Agreement and it was president Joyce Banda who signed it.”

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He also said there is also a Treaty on Double Taxation which can be used in getting tax from investors not based in Africa.

“In short, a person who comes here cannot get away on issues of tax. We can always use existing treaties,” Kulemeka said.

He therefore said even if government has not signed AMATM, Malawi can still use the Sadc treaty.

He, however, indicated that there may be more treaties that can be signed, including one at African Union (AU) level.

On Monday, Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe said a team will be sent to Addis Ababa this week, where they will discuss the AU Agreement of Tax.

According to Kulemeka, the AU Treaty is different from the AMATM.

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