Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Is It Tax Exemptions or Rip -Off?

IT appalls to call robber by consent tax exemption or whatever sexed-up name and this puts the power that be in the till. Reports that a begging nation like ours lost 587bn/- thanks to tax exemption in a just ten month period are shockingly disturbing.

The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Board Chair, Dr Marcellina Chijoriga, told the Parliamentary Committee for Finance and Economy recently that the exemptions were made between July 2008 to April 2009 – cool 18.38bn/- of the total amount was given away in Zanzibar.

In this rip-off, as per Chijoriga, Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) scored high at 83% or 362.6bn/-. One would wonder. Is this investment or rip-off?

Others that befriended include state-owned organisations (5.97bn/-), government institutions (8.8bn/-), religious and other non-governmental organisations (34.7bn/-), while donor-funded projects got exemptions amounting to 21.1bn/-.

Others that gnawed 154.2bn/- in exemptions, mainly by means of duty-free shops, special exemptions and zero rated exemptions! “The exemptions on the Mainland were equal to 30 per cent of the total 1.45tr/- collected by the Customs Department for those ten months only,” Chijoriga keened.

Our budget depends on donors at the tune of over 30%. At the same time, we award almost the same amount to swindlers! What a curse!

I can’t just imagine. How many schools or hospitals this gargantuan amount would build. Help me. How many students this amount would see through in colleges? How many kilometers of our dilapidated roads this amount would build? I don’t know. People in a forgotten region like Kigoma would understand and accept this!

What adds up even more is when we’re offering tax holidays and exemptions to some swindlers, our paupers are sinking in destitution as our rulers crushingly go cup in hand from one rich country to another. Gravely, we still promise them better life! Where do we get this grit for God’s sake?

Whilst this sacrilegious opprobrium is unleashed, a few thieves in high offices make a kill so as to become tycoons as a great many unwashed suffer even more!

The other day I averred that Bongo is richer than other wrongly think. What amiss is but vision and trustworthy, and of course, sane minds in the upper echelons of power.

To grasp what I mean, look at those we offer tax exemption. They blind us by giving our pauper leftover they call misaada. The other day I heard that one lady that heads a certain suspicious church offered over 20,000,000/- to women in Morogoro.

Unfortunately though, nobody asked how she printed such moneys! Isn’t the same money we offered to her briefcase church from which she gets leftover to offer to our women?

Those who know how corruption operates can show you some chaps that man and own religious outfits they use to get tax exemption they extend to business people who pay them after getting their items into the country without paying any tax. And this is why NGOs and religious outfits are mushrooming. It is a lucrative business.

To know what I mean, look at the paupers of yesterday who become tycoons overnight after establishing their churches or whatever outfits. That’s why the number of self-ordained religious leaders is surging every day. Ni ulaji wa dezo.

Are they frying a fish with its own oil? Who knows and who cares if at all corruption is becoming an order of the day?

Somebody has to say something. I condemn this monkey business. No way one can comfortably sit idly by as our money is being swindled.

We always sing good governance. Is there any good governance with all this daylight robbery? While this heinous crime is committed, we still have guts to overtax our paupers! Look at stuffs like VAT, Income tax, payroll tax, stump duty, sales tax, hidden tax and what not. Isn’t this stealing from them really?

We still go thumb-up assuring our paupers that we’ll deliver! Why should we make tax evasion a crime but not tax exemption? Is it because those that exempt other are the high and mighty?

Let’s face it point blank. What is said to be tax exemption sounds as rip-off to me. This way, our country is doomed and shall it remain as this, verily we’re but finished. And this is true not preaching recusancy.
Source: Thisday June 17, 2009.

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