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The Confederation of Economic Associations (CTA) said yesterday in Maputo that the state needed to find a balance in the collection of taxes.
“You have to find a balance, because all the measures that the state is now taking in search of more revenue are focused on small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), and they are the ones which create jobs and fight poverty,” said Eduardo Sengo, executive director of CTA.
Sengo was speaking at a press conference reacting to the campaign that the Mozambican Tax Authority (TAA) is carrying out with the aim of recovering revenue that has been not been paid through the non-issuance of invoices and other such documents, as well as educating economic agents and citizens in general on the need to issue or demand fiscal documents or invoices in the purchase of any good or service.
The CTA thinks that the Tax Authority’s action should not cover small and medium-sized enterprises only.
Sengo, who was accompanied by the chairman of the CTA’s fiscal board Kekobad Patel, said that there was room in this context to renegotiate contracts that the state has with some megaprojects “that have a lot more income”.
“The gradual modernisation of the informal sector through public-private partnerships and the control of illegal imports can also, in our view, help solve the fiscal deficit problem,” he said.
According to Sengo, the state currently owes companies about US$400 million, as well as having delayed VAT refunds due to economic difficulties.
“All this stifles companies. In addition, we believe that public-private partnerships can help modernise the Mozambican tax system,” he said.
Kekobad Patel stressed the importance of revitalising the reform of the tax system.
“We do not think that the method being followed at the moment helps, because small companies are already going through an extremely difficult situation and not recognising the current economic situation of the country seems not to be the right decision,” he said.
Like Sengo, Patel said that the modernisation of the sector was a priority because, in his words, “it is important that taxpayers stop filling up tax offices to pay their taxes”.