Application of digital technology in enhancing tax revenue collection: the case of micro businesses in Tanzania

George S. Oreku

Abstract


In spite of the importance of Micro Businesses (MBs) in forming a wide tax base, there isn’t a clear practical approach to tax administration of MBs in many developing countries. Specifically, there is limited information on how digital technology can address tax administration challenges for MBs. This paper explores the potentials of digital technology to enhance tax revenue collection and its administration to Micro Businesses in the Tanzanian context. The data on tax administration, challenges impeding tax administration to MBs, and the potential of digital technology used in tax administration were collected by questionnaire and interview. Interviews were conducted with 24 informants from Tanzania Revenue Authority, and 137 Micro Business candidates from various business sectors were provided with a questionnaire in Dar es Salaam, which is the head office of tax administration and the economic hub of Tanzania. Thematic approach was used to analyse the qualitative data. Descriptive statistics was used to analyse quantitative data through SPPS. The findings revealed that the current tax practices to MBs do not comply with tax theories of low administration cost, wide tax base, and simple-to-administer tax procedure. The findings revealed that the challenges like lack of record keeping, lack of knowledge on tax payment procedures, unknown tax collection channels, and multiple taxes can be tackled by establishing strong relationship mechanisms between TRA and MBs and using digital technology solutions to tackle challenges. The study suggests some digital technology solutions to address the challenges. Leading to that practical aspect of tax administration that can guide policy makers and tax administrators was introduced.

For citation

Oreku G.S. Application of digital technology in enhancing tax revenue collection: the case of micro businesses in Tanzania. Journal of Tax Reform. 2021;7(2):173–192. https://doi.org/10.15826/jtr.2021.7.2.097

 Article info

Received June 10, 2021; Revised July 10, 2021; Accepted July 28, 2021


Keywords


tax administration, digital technology, tax avoidance, input tax and micro businesses

References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15826/jtr.2021.7.2.097

Copyright (c) 2021 George S. Oreku

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