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‘No extension of EFD upgrading deadline’

TANZANIA Revenue Authority (TRA) said on Monday it would not extend last Thursday’s deadline for upgrading electronic fiscal device (EFD) software.

TRA said the four-week period of upgrading software from old protocol 2.0 to 2.1 was ample and no need for further extension after the deadline passed last Thursday. The new software gives more digital flexibility on remote transactions.

TRA Commissioner General, Dr Edwin Mdehe, said during a mid-year review meeting in Arusha that the timeframe for upgrading the EFDs to the latest firmware was set from December 7, 2020 to January 7, 2021, but traders, suppliers and other business entities had been dragging their feet to implement the changes.

"Four weeks were enough for business owners to upgrade their EFDs to the latest 2.1 software, but we have been getting requests from the majority, appealing for deadline extensions," said Dr Mdehe, insisting that the upgrade to protocol 2.1 was compulsory and needed to be implemented promptly.

The law requires all suppliers of goods and services whose annual turnover exceeds 14m/- to issue fiscal receipts or invoices through EFDs.

TRA Deputy Commissioner Msafiri Mabibo said from late last year, TRA had rolled out the process of upgrading its electronic filing (e-filing) system for value added tax (VAT) returns, as well as improving the electronic fiscal devices management system (EFDMS) which goes in-sync with the introduction of new software, protocol 2.1.

"Receipts and invoices churned out from EFDs running the old 2.0 software will not be able to pass the automatic verification test within the new e-filing system," said Mr Mabibo.

He said with the new 2.1 system taxpayers would be able to settle and track their paid revenues remotely through their smartphones, while also the upgrade squashes bugs that caused problems for previous software, as well as sealing loopholes for counterfeit receipts.

All EFDs that are not capable of being configured to the protocol 2.1 software need to be replaced with the new ones from the approved suppliers of such electronic devices and the exercise should have been completed by this January.

But there are some EFDs that can be upgraded to the protocol 2.1 software and these could be provided with the latest patch from any of the nearest TRA offices.

Following the planned upgrade to protocol 2.1 software, taxpayers will not be able to claim input VAT on invoices or receipts issued through devices with previous software and such documents will automatically be rejected on the new e-filing system.

Moreover, receipts issued under the new protocol 2.1-compliant system will have special verification codes to distinguish them from receipts issued under the former 2.0 protocol system.

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Author:  YASINTA AMOS, Arusha

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