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The Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA) has protested against the new campaign to inspect and audit companies and shops launched this week by the tax authority (AT).
Speaking at a Maputo press conference on Tuesday, CTA officials accused the AT of ignoring the country’s real problems and forcing honest businessmen to waste their time in additional inspections.
“In the companies, we are making a monumental effort not to close our doors because of the economic crisis”, declared Kekobad Patel, head of the CTA’s fiscal policy and foreign trade portfolio. “We are taking the measures necessary for the companies to continue to operate. We think that not recognising the country’s economic situation is a very serious mistake. This is not the path to follow – the path of successive inspections, making companies that are working waste their time”.
Instead, Patel suggested, the AT would be better advised to set up a data base that would allow it to improve the taxation of the country’s vast, but largely untaxed informal sector.
He asked whether the AT has a data base on taxpayers, and knows how many people are practicing informal trade. Patel also wanted to know what the AT is doing to prevent the informal sector from taking over the entire national economy.
The CTA Executive Director, Eduardo Sengo, said what is really important is to halt the flow of illegal imports which are feeding the informal sector.
Sengo also attacked the AT for inspecting how much Value Added Tax (VAT) companies have paid when it knows full well that that state owes those same companies millions of meticais in VAT rebates. The amount owing is the metical equivalent of around 400 million US dollars. How could the companies be expected to pay 17 per cent VAT when the state still owed them such large sums, he asked.
The AT’s problem is that VAT collection fell short in the first nine months of the year. The AT only collected 96 per cent of what was forecast, and the current inspection campaign is supposed to fill the gap.Source: AIM