The Malawi Revenue Authority has warned those who masquerade as MRA officials and collect tax revenue from taxpayers.
The imposters, according to MRA, also collect penalties from taxpayers, by claiming that the taxpayer had underpaid duty.
MRA Deputy Director of Corporate Affairs Steven Kapoloma, said the act is criminal in nature and attracts death penalty.
“We have arrested already some and we are tracking others. I would, therefore, ask the imposters to stop this act, as it is a criminal act,” he said.
Kapoloma also advised taxpayers to demand proof of identity from any official who claims to be from MRA.
He said officials from MRA do have identity cards and that the taxpayer should also be calling MRA offices when in doubt.
“This is a sad development, because not only is the taxpayer losing out, also the government loses out,” said Kapoloma.
He further said when dealing with tax issues, MRA transacts through banks and not cash basis.
“Tax payment is done through our commercial banks, that is why we have banks at all our offices. No officer collects cash for tax payments.
“It is also important that after paying the taxes, the taxpayer must make sure that she or he has been given proper receipt,” said Kapoloma.
MRA was tasked by the government to contribute over 70 percent to this year’s national budget.
The authority has also registered positive results for the months of June and July by surpassing their monthly revenue collection targets.
In July, MRA was given a target of K59.5 billion but it collected about K62.4 billion.
Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam) president Mike Mlombwa said he expects MRA to continue beating its target going forward following the meetings his organisation has been holding with local businesses on the importance of paying taxes.
“Over the past three months we have been holding sensitisation meetings in Blantyre and Lilongwe enlightening Malawians on the need to pay tax.
“What remains now is for government to start giving more business opportunities to locals so that they continue paying more taxes,” said Mlombwa.