PRIME Minister, Kassim Majaliwa has called upon traders who are chronic defaulters to pay taxes and a taskforce formed by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) is meant to make sure they do not bribe the officials.
Premier Majaliwa noted that the government respects traders and investors in all sectors but stressed on the importance of paying taxes as required by the law.
“There are few traders who are chronic defaulters and the TRA taskforce comprising armed police officers and PCCB officials is meant to ensure that there are no shoddy dealings, and that the money paid (as tax) is protected while en route to its destination,” he explained.
Mr Majaliwa commended the Arusha Regional Commissioner for his move in convening a meeting between traders and TRA and restored peace between the two, through preaching the importance of paying tax and why the taskforce was in place.
Premier Majaliwa was responding to a question from Godbless Lema (Arusha Urban –Chadema) who wanted to know the government’s position over what he called a taskforce comprising police officers and officials from the Intelligence Unit who are threatening traders in Arusha, with false cases of money laundering if they don’t pay taxes.
“We all know efforts by the government in promoting the industrialisation agenda, which is important and we all commend it. But, for this to work there is need for conducive investment environment,” he explained.
He added: “However, TRA has been threatening traders in major cities like Mwanza, Arusha and Dar es Salaam. In Arusha, they are using police and the Intelligence Unit with false cases of money laundering.
What is the government position on this?” Prime Minister Majaliwa confirmed that TRA had indeed formed the task-force, but was only in place to ensure the few chronic traders who usually do not pay taxes, do so without the temptation to bribe tax officials.
“Some of these traders have accrued large sums of tax arrears and they might be tempted to pay a bribe to escape paying the whole amount. That is why we have the PCCB officials in the taskforce,” he explained.