MRA engages firms on new tax measures

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) on Friday launched a string of meetings with various stakeholders to enlighten them on new tax measures introduced in the 2017/18 fiscal year.

The awareness campaigns, which will run from August to September this year, comes after concerns from consumers on the reluctance by manufacturing companies to reduce the prices of products that have been exempted from 16.5 percent value added tax (VAT).

The prices of products such as milk, which was exempted from VAT three months ago and cooking oil exempted effective July 1, are yet to reflect in the shops.

Prices of cooking oil are yet to reflect the removal of VAT

The campaign, which will be conducted in all the country’s regions, will target manufacturers and traders of cooking oil, milk, owners of minibuses and big buses.

MRA head of corporate affairs Steven Kapoloma told journalist at a media workshop on Friday in Blantyre that the aim of the government’s new tax measures is to benefit all the citizens and not just manufacturers.

He said MRA believes the manufacturers have the responsibility to understand the law and implement it afterwards for the benefit of Malawians.

“Beginning this month, we are going to meet various key sectors in various places so that they understand the law and begin to implement the new tax measures as it is their responsibility to do so,” he said.

Kapoloma urged Malawians and organisations such as Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) and Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) to monitor the prices of goods that have been affected by the new tax measures.

“We believe once the public is aware and equipped with necessary information, they should be able to police the implementation of these measures,” he said.

This development comes after players in the manufacturing industry to Business News last week that they were yet to receive official communication from MRA and Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development on the exemption of VAT on various products.

However, CFTC director of consumer welfare and education Lewis Kulisewa said it is a tax policy issue and that MRA and its parent ministry are better placed to comment on such issues. n

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