• Close the gap

    Close the gap

    Zanzibar is rolling out digital technology to improve its revenue collection.

    The Citizen reports that tax authorities in the semi-autonomous archipelago are expecting a 20% increase in tax revenue by replacing their manual paper-based procedures with virtual fiscal devices (VFDs) this month, followed later by an electronic tax-stamp (ETS) system.

    The Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB) says the new technology will plug revenue leaks and close the tax-evasion loophole by sending vendors’ transaction information directly to the board.

    ZRB commissioner Salum Yusuf Ali predicts revenue collections will rise from an average of TSh46 billion to TSh55 billion a month.

    The launch of the VFDs, which was delayed by COVID-19, follows a pilot study last year targeting value-added tax payers in Zanzibar and is in line with the roll-out of the same system in mainland Tanzania.

    The pandemic also stalled the introduction of the ETS system, which has yet to be piloted in Zanzibar, although it is already in use on the mainland.

    13 April 2021
    Image: Alamy