Almost half (46 per cent ) of Tanzanians say people in the country “often” or “always” avoid paying their taxes according to a new survey published by Afrobarometer.
Paying taxes is a fundamental civic duty meant to be exercised by citizens for their welfare and national development.
Tax revenues account for more than 85 per cent of Tanzania’s domestic revenues and about 70 per cent of government expenditures.
The government has initiated several measures to improve tax compliance, including updating tax-collection technology, enhancing outreach of tax services and education to the public, restructuring the Tanzania Revenue Authority, and strengthening enforcement measures.
The government recently introduced a tax on mobile-money transactions, whose proceeds are intended to support the improvement of social-services delivery, including the construction of classrooms and health centres, particularly in underserved areas.
The Afrobarometer survey findings however show that most Tanzanians see tax collection as legitimate and believe that the government uses tax revenues for the well-being of its citizens.
Yet a majority report that citizens “often” or “always” avoid paying their taxes, and most say it is difficult to know what taxes and fees they are supposed to pay and how government uses tax revenues.
“Tanzanians are divided on whether they favour higher taxes to support more government services, but a large majority say they would welcome higher taxes to fund programmes targeting young people,” the survey said.