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Malawi Revenue Authority collects K748 billion in first half

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Emmanuel Kaluluma

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has collected K748.89 billion during the first half of the 2022-23 Financial Year, beating the target for the period by about K6.68 billion.

Revenue target for the period between April and October was K742.22 billion.

MRA Commissioner General John Biziwick told journalists Wednesday that the positive performance is due to a number of factors including Pay As You Earn rate restructuring and salary increments, advance income tax implementation, increase in value for duty due to devaluation and outstanding performance in some taxes.

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Biziwick said MRA beat its target despite the volatility of the operating environment which is characterised by foreign exchange shortage, reduced fuel importation and changes in government policies such as removal of withholding tax and tax on cooking oil.

“Despite everything, we have beaten the target for both the first quarter and the second quarter and the first half of the year in general,” he said.

During the period under review, the best performing month was August, when the surplus was K10 billion, seconded by April registering a surplus of K5.94 billion, then June with a surplus of K2.5 billion followed by July at K1 billion surplus.

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MRA missed its revenue collection target in May and September.

The tax collecting body has since set a K396.43 billion target for the third quarter of the financial year.

During the same period last year, the revenue collecting body collected K318.85 billion.

“We are upbeat that during the second half of the year, we will beat the target again and we have put different strategies including minimising smuggling and more audits to curb tax avoidance, among others,” he added.

Taxation expert Emmanuel Kaluluma said, in general terms, the development also means that MRA is more efficient and efforts deployed to curb corruption are yielding results.

Kaluluma said the government should, however, be prudent on expenditure because unnecessary expenditure could affect compliance levels.

“Beating the targets is good news for the government because it means the deficit will be narrow but the government should spend wisely; otherwise, stealing the same money will only discourage taxpayers from complying with the payment of taxes,” he said.

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