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IBAM tips government on tax inclusion

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The Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (IBAM) says if given mandate by government, it has the capacity to formalise small businesses so that they can start paying taxes to widen the tax base.

This follows remarks made by Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe that government, with help from the International Monetary Fund, is planning to review the tax administration system currently in force to include some businesses and individuals into the tax net.

IBAM president Mike Mlombwa said it would be easy for the association to recruit all indigenous business entities across the country to be under the association.

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According to Mlombwa, such a move would yield a lot of advantages including making tax collection easier and faster.

“This would be an easy way of maximising tax revenue because there are a lot of indigenous businesses that are operating without paying tax hence the revenue challenges experienced by government,” said Mlombwa.

But Mlombwa said this would only be successful if government would empower more local businesses through implementing an indigenisation policy of those businesses that can be done by Malawians.

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“If more businesses are in the hands of Malawians the country will benefit a lot because the money will stay here and through the association they will be made to pay taxes,” said Mlombwa.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Trade Wiskes Nkombezi while conceding that it would be easy for government to deal with a single large group than many small groups was quick to say that Treasury was better placed to comment on issues of taxation.

“That proposal would have to be formally presented to government and we would see how feasible it can be, looking at the prevailing circumstances,” said Nkombezi.

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