Africa: Changing perceptions on display at U.S.-Africa Business Summit in DC
The Mozambican Tax Authority (AT) has announced that it will carry out “exceptional” inspections and audits of companies and commercial establishments to ensure that the tax collection target this year of 186 billion meticais (just over three billion US dollars) is reached, according to a report on the independent television station STV.
The AT intends to concentrate on Value Added Tax (VAT), which represents more than 35 per cent of total tax revenue.
At an AT seminar held last Friday, in order to unify procedures and select the group of companies to be inspected, AT chairperson Amelia Nakhare said “The country is passing through a critical period in terms of its capacity to finance its expenditure, and this scenario can only be changed through the efficiency of the tax system, and the tax system is us”.
She added that she was deeply concerned at irregularities detected in some AT audits of companies. The AT had looked at the matter jointly with the Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) and had detected “significant weaknesses” in the audit procedures used.
The PGR, Nakhare said, believed “that we have been adulterating the results of our reports, and there is a great concern at the absence of transparency in the mechanisms we are using to ascertain the results”.
Some of the problems concerned corruption, in which AT officials “negotiated” tax payments outside of the legal procedures. The AT leadership discovered this because of complaints by taxpayers.
“This is critical”, declared Nakhare. “We must have an attitude that identifies us as officials of the state. We took an oath to serve the country, and not ourselves”.
The General-Director of Taxes, Augusto Tacarindua, told the meeting that it is expected that tax collection should exceed 100 per cent of the figure set in the budget. All AT officials, he said, should ensure that establishments issue invoices, and that consumers demand proper invoices. (He was referring to the practice of evading payment of VAT by selling goods without invoices.)Source: AIM