TRA forgoes Sh27bn duty in exemption By Damas Kanyabwoya THE CITIZEN The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) exempted Sh26.75 billion taxes between June 2006 and July 2007. The taxes were forgone under the treasury voucher and cheque system. Without naming names, TRA said the taxes were exempted to 2,033 organisations and 1,228 public officials. For the 2005/06 fiscal year, the World Bank had estimated that tax exemptions would eat up to 22.8 per cent of TRAs total projected revenue. With the tax collection target of Sh1.89 trillion for the year, the country was projected to lose about Sh432.3 billion through tax exemptions. The amount was enough to finance about seven Government ministries. Other exemptions included imports on donor-funded projects and for mining activities. The Government has come under pressure to reduce tax exemptions to minimise its dependency on foreign donors. Meanwhile, the Tanzania Revenue Authority has said it has no information or data on tax avoidance because the malpractice is conducted using loopholes in the tax law to either avoid or pay less tax. The Citizen had wanted to know the extent of tax avoidance and what TRA was doing to fight it. TRA says to plug any tax avoidance loopholes, it has been evaluating pieces of legislation to propose proper amendments and tackle the problem.