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MRA opens Covid-19 response tax window

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Mike Mlombwa

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has opened up a voluntary tax compliance window for six months, to allow tax payers with arrears settle their tax obligations in instalments without penalty.

This follows a directive by President Peter Mutharika as part of mitigation measures for Covid-19 threats on businesses and the economy. MRA Commissioner General, Tom Malata, said yesterday that the move is aimed at increasing voluntary tax compliance for business people.

“The window is intended to provide relief to individuals and organisations to regularize their tax affairs without suffering from penalties, interests and charges,” Malata said.

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He called on firms and individuals with tax arrears arising from the negative impact of the pandemic and other challenges to take advantage of the window and clear their matters within the specified period.

Indigenous Business Association of Malawi president, Mike Mlombwa, applauded the move but said it was not enough to mitigate possible risks. He said business operators should be empowered if they are to efficiently settle the arrears.

“This is a good move but we are still waiting for other waivers from government because with the stay home option adopted by most businesses, productivity would slow down,” Mlombwa said.

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In his address last week, Mutharika further directed that MRA applies waivers on importation of essential goods for Coronavirus management and waive non tourism levy to support the tourism industry.

Private sector umbrella body, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry recently urged the government to put in place a working plan in collaboration with the private sector to split roles and responsibilities to ensure that local industry is promoted.

Other economic commentators and local businesses fear that the economy is facing doom in a scenario where a lasting remedy for the pandemic, which has already put some global economies almost on their knees, is not found.

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