In Summary

Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) repeated at its regional general meeting in Mbeya on Wednesday.

One common issue taxpayers have raised at various forums is the need for authorities to make it easier for them to comply – whether it’s at the national, regional or district level. It is this same concern that the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) repeated at its regional general meeting in Mbeya on Wednesday.

The TCCIA, a key organ that speaks on behalf of industry, noted that some investors and traders were still having a difficult time complying with tax requirements by different departments, which are operating in a seemingly uncoordinated manner. Every fee or levy-collecting department or department has its own procedure, according to TCCIA, which suggested that this was increasing the cost and complexity of taxpayer compliance and tax administration.

TCCIA said it had plans to meet with government to discuss the possibility of forming a one-stop shop with a uniform system. At the moment, taxpayers in many areas across the country have to contend with the burden of moving from one department to the other to comply with the various requirements. This could be improved.

There are plenty of benefits for creating a uniform, one-stop centre, not only for the taxpayer, but also for the authorities. For taxpayers, for example, there is a reduction in time consumed in their bid to comply with requirements; and for the authorities, there is a higher potential for bigger collections.

That could also translate into less time and fewer resources used in enforcement. This is why it is important for the government to consider the proposal by TCCIA.

The good thing is that we have a reference point. This proposed uniformity has worked at the Tanzania Investment Centre. The one stop centre at the investment body has made it easier for compliance.

The same system could be adopted, even at the local government level to encourage local development.