The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) beat the 2020/21 budget revenue target by K28.7 billion buoyed by a strong revenue performance in the fourth quarter of the year, Commissioner General John Biziwick said on Saturday.
Biziwick was speaking during a media orientation workshop on new tax measures announced in the 2021/22 National Budget as well as tax related bills recently passed by Parliament.
He said the taxmen managed to collect K1.108 trillion against the K1.079 trillion target set by Finance Minister Felix Mlusu in last year’s budget.
Biziwick told reporters that the strong tax performance was despite the significant threat paused by Covid which affected a number of tax lines.
“This is a record collection considering that, for some years, MRA has neither met nor beat the set revenue targets and that the 2020/2021 tax revenue target has been met and exceed during a Covid period, which affected operations of many institutions and businesses.
“This achievement is a true testimony that there are numerous compliant taxpayers who pay their tax liabilities on time and in full. It is, therefore, with great humility that the authority would like to sincerely express its heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all taxpayers who voluntarily came forward to pay their taxes,” he said.
Looking ahead, Biziwick said MRA is optimistic it would meet the K1.033 trillion target, despite the reduced time in which it is supposed to collect the money. Unlike last year, this time around MRA would be expected to collect the money in nine months as the 2021/22 fiscal year only runs from July 2021 to March 2022.
Among other strategies, Biziwick said MRA would be banking on four gamechangers which, he said, would help it collect more revenue going ahead.
The gamechangers include the introduction of block management system; tax stamps; aggressive approach against tax evaders and increased media engagement.
“We are confident that these measures, coupled with the patriotism that Malawians have displayed so far, would help us collect more revenue and meet the set target,” Biziwick said.
Association of Business Journalists (ABJ) General Secretary Gregory Gondwe underscored the need for close corporation between MRA and the business reporters in enlightening Malawians on the importance of paying taxes.
Gondwe said it is crucial that the media understands all the new taxes introduced so that they could pass the right message to Malawians on the same.
The meeting attracted over 30 journalists from media houses across the country.