MRA outlines revenue collection constraints
Delays in implementing the taxation stamps system, a slowdown in business due to persistent power outages and delays in reconciling and transferring revenue from government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have been outlined among challenges the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is facing to maximise revenue collection.
This is according to MRA Commissioner General John Bizwick.
He said this last week on the sidelines of an event marking the climax of the revenue collection body’s 23rd anniversary.
He said, of the limitations, delays to implement taxation stamps on imported goods were the major setback.
Bizwick added that, towards the end of 2022, fuel scarcity the country, experienced also affected chances of maximising revenue collection.
“Although we faced such challenges, we met our targets because sectors perform differently and certain sectors are able to offset those that are not doing well,” Bizwick said.
MRA reported to have 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.
The revenue target for the period between April and October was K742.22 billion.
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.
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.
Taxation expert Emmanuel Kaluluma said the challenges were inevitable.
“There are a lot of areas that are untapped when it comes to taxation in Malawi. Therefore, MRA should make sure that those sectors are in the bracket of taxation so that the tax base is widened,” he said.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.