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Tax payers who use the eastern branch of the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) say they are not being listened to when they attempt to resolve their tax concerns.
ERCA held a meeting with tax payers on Tuesday December 24 at Kokeb Hall, where they promised to address all problems that is brought to their attention and review claims related to the tax system. During the discussion, one participant from the business community said they paid tax that was unnecessary and when they asked the office to review their claim so that they could get a refund if the result determined that they were indeed overtaxed, the employees will not cooperate. Moreover the attendee said that when they went to the authority’s eastern branch, the employees there ignore their concern. Several other people repeated complaints along this theme saying that they did not feel heard when they attempted to have their taxes reviewed or other issues addressed.
“The staff at ERCA is only interested in collecting the taxes imposed,” participants said.
Even though they agree that legally the Authority has the right to collect tax even if the person paying it feels it is too much, they point out that laws entitle them to a review and a refund if that review finds they have overpaid.
“I understand that the tax authority employees are anxious and afraid of corruption allegations, but because of this we cannot get a fair review and decision from them,” one participant told Capital.
“The Authority has to provide a clear mandate for its employees to address complaints, review evidence and give an objective decision,” the participant added.
In a related development, ERCA disclosed that the number of cash register machine users has reached 75,000. From this amount 60,000 are in Addis Ababa and the balance is through out the country.
Officials at ERCA told Capital that the number of new cash register machine users registered in the past five months of the current fiscal year is 15,000.
According to the officials, ERCA has set a goal for 50,000 new businesses to use cash register machines during fiscal year, 2013-2014. ERCA has expanded the number of machine and software suppliers, in hopes of making transactions easier. The implementation of cash register machines started in 2008 with major business sectors.