Harmonise VAT collection, ST urges tax administrators


Secretary to the Treasury Ben Botolo has called for the harmonisation of value added tax (VAT) collection in some African countries, saying it is critical for running of governments.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day meeting of tax administrators from six African countries in Lilongwe under the forum of VAT Administration in Africa (Vada), Botolo urged the tax administrators to continue meeting to find solutions to challenges hampering collection of VAT—a tax applied on the value added to goods and services at each stage in the production and distribution chain.

Some of the participants during the meeting

The meeting brought together VAT administrators from Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia, Lesotho and Malawi to deliberate on four areas, namely cash economy versus VAT, telecommunications, risk management and use of technology.

Said Botolo: “In Malawi, we are doing well in some cases whereby people are willing to pay tax because they see that some public service programmes by government are working.”

In an interview, Vada chairperson Henry Martin Saka from Uganda said what makes VAT important is its significant contribution to government’s revenue, saying VAT contributes 32 percent of tax revenue.

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