Dar es Salaam. The global economic recovery is keenly felt in Tanzania, with official data showing an increase in import duties, propelled by a rebound in economic activity across the world.
Figures from the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) show that while the government’s target was to collect 604 billion shillings in import duties in July, it ended up raking in 626.9 billion shillings, or nearly 4%. above the lens.
“Outperformance in import taxes has been associated with an increase in the value of dutiable imports,” says the BoT in its Monthly Economic Review (MER) of August 2021.
The BoT said that in July, the first month of fiscal 2021/2022, the bill for merchandise imports increased by $ 129.5 million to $ 757.1 million, from $ 627.6 million. recorded during the corresponding period in 2020.
This, he says, can be attributed to increased imports of consumer and capital goods such as transport equipment, building and construction, and machinery. Oil imports have also made a significant contribution to merchandise imports.
Speaking to the President of the Citizen Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (Taffa), Mr. Edward Urio, said that during the pandemic many businesses were on hold, but as economies opened up so did the flow of goods. coming from foreign countries is also.
He said there had been a significant drop in activity, which caused many shipping companies to reduce the number of fleets carrying cargo around the world.
“So now it’s as if all the cargo that was stranded when the pandemic restrictions were tight has started to open up, so much so that we now have a shortage of containers and ships to move all that cargo through.” , said Urio.
According to him, some shipping companies have not yet returned the vessels for logistics, making the number of available vessels insufficient. This, he says, also influences the rising costs of logistics.
According to government data, Tanzania hit the $ 10 billion mark in terms of annual import value through the year ending July 2021, compared to $ 9.85 billion recorded in July 2020.
The increase was again mainly attributed to increased imports of machinery and all consumer goods except food and groceries, according to BoT.
In addition, out of total tax revenue, the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) was able to meet its monthly target of 93.5%.
From its monthly target of 1.46 trillion shillings, the authority was able to raise 1.36 trillion shillings in July 2021.
“The good performance of tax revenue was largely attributed to the achievement of the above target on import taxes, which collected almost 4 percent above the target at 626.9 billion shillings. “BoT said in part.
According to the central bank, tax collection in July this year was even 8.9% higher than the revenue collected in July 2020.
In terms of sales and / or value added tax (VAT) and excise on local products, the central bank reports that 302.6 billion shillings was supposed to be collected, but the government was able to obtain 234.3 billion shillings.
Income taxes, the target could be reached at 94 percent, as the state authorities collected 442.4 billion shillings against a target of 470.3 billion shillings. While in other taxes, Sh 63.83 billion was collected towards a monthly target of Sh 84.85 billion.
This is a good start for the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), as the introduction of new taxes for the 2021/2022 fiscal year has raised concerns that affect government revenue.
To fund the 2021/2022 tax budget, the government aims to collect 20.73 trillion shillings from various tax sources.
In the budget adopted by the National Assembly, the government deposited an amount of 36.3 trillion shillings for the current fiscal year, which represents a growth of 3.2% compared to the budget of the previous year and of 35.33% compared to the actual collection expected from the government for the year 2020/21. .