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The Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) announced a higher performance in collecting tax in the first half of the current budget year, according to a six months performance report.
Early this week, the authority disclosed that it has gathered 64.66 billion birr in the past six months starting July 2014, achieving 97.8 percent of its target. The authority targeted to collect 66 billion birr in the sated period. Even though the six months performance was lower by 2.2 percent, it surpasses the performance of last year’s similar period by 21.2 percent. According to the report, out of the total amount 27.6 percent is secured from direct tax, while 70.8 percent was generated from indirect tax.
Efrem Mekonnen, Public Relation Head of ERCA, said that the authority has collected 36.6 billion birr (56.5 percent of the total revenue) from Inland Revenue and 28 billion birr (43.4 percent) from international trade. The authority has also earned 63.5 million birr from lottery issuance. ERCA which is mandated to collect the Addis Ababa city’s revenue has achieved 76 percent of the planned income. The authority’s public relation head said that out of the 12.3 billion birr estimated to be collected from Addis Ababa city, 9.4 billion birr has been realized.
Parliament has approved a federal government plan to collect 115.9 billion birr in the budget year, while ERCA planned to collect more, 134.2 billion birr.
In the stated period, ERCA has collected 69,715 new finger prints that increased the total deposit of collected finger prints to 2.5 million.
One thousand eight hundred seventy complaints have been submitted by tax payers during the six months and ERCA has given response to 98 percent (1,849) of the cases, according to ERCA public relation head.
ERCA has included additional five companies on its ‘authorized economic operators (AEO)’ list increasing the number of authorized tax collection agents to 21 in the stated period.
The authority also stated that in the six months ERCA has given 30 billion birr worth tax free incentive for companies that are mainly engaged in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors.
The authority is one of the public offices that has high staff turnover. In the past six months, 904 employees left the authority. According to Efrem, over 88 percent of the employees left ERCA based on their personal interest, while three percent were fired due to misdemeanor.
Sources said that insecurity is the top factor that drives out the employees. Fear of corruption allegation and lack of confidence are part of the reason for employees to flee from the authority.
ERCA losses at least 1,000 employees annually, but it also hires larger number of new employees than the deserters. In the first half of this budget year, it hired 2,158 new employees.