By MARY JOHN Posted Monday, May 16 2011 at 00:00 Tanzania has announced a crackdown on institutions and individuals that abuse tax exemptions, which cost the government at least $449 million in lost revenues in 2010 alone. Walid Juma, the Commissioner for Customs at the Tanzania Revenue Authority told The EastAfrican that this was partly the reason the government was unable to meet its revenue collection targets. He said some institutions were using the facility to export products which do not fall under the tax exemption brackets and failing to circulate them within agreed places. TRA will soon start investigating the matter and rein in those found guilty, he said. Institutions exempted In Tanzania mainland, the exemptions amount to 14.7 per cent of the actual collections totalling $259 million (Tsh391 billion). Among institutions that were exempted from taxes are the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), the mining sector, donor funded projects, government institutions, parastatals and individuals. A report by the Controller and Auditor General Ludovick Utouh, noted that TIC was the biggest beneficiary with exemptions amounting to 177 million (Tsh268 billion), followed by donor funded projects whose exemptions totalled $47.9 million (Tsh 72 billion). Exemptions under value added tax amounted to $111 million (Tsh168 billion) while those under duty free shops were $1.7 million (Tsh 2 billion).