The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) was established by Act of Parliament No. 11 of 1995, and started its operations on 1st July 1996.  In carrying out its statutory functions, TRA is regulated by law, and is responsible for administering impartially various taxes of the Central Government.


 Taxpayer’s charter

 What is VAT?

VAT stands for Value Added Tax.  It is a consumption tax charged on taxable goods, services immovable property of any economic activity whenever value is added at each stage of production and at the final stage of sale. VAT is charged on both locally produced goods and services and on imports. Value Added Tax is charged by persons registered for VAT only.

What is the scope of VAT?

The VAT shall be charged on any supply of goods, services and immovable property of any economic activity in Mainland Tanzania where it is a taxable supply made by a taxable person in the course of economic activity carried by him. The importation of taxable supply from any place outside Mainland Tanzania shall be charged VAT and normal Customs Laws and procedures shall apply. All supply consumed or enjoyed outside Mainland Tanzania shall be zero-rated upon proof. VAT is chargeable on the taxable supplies of goods and services. The rates are 18%   for standard rated supplies, and 0%   for exports of goods and services


This guide explains the taxation of companies, how a company will be required to provide the tax return information to TRA. It also provides links to more needed and detailed guidance.

Individuals are categorized in two groups, small individual traders who are not required to maintain audited accounts and the medium individual traders who are required to maintain audited accounts. Small traders are taxed by presumptive tax system, whereas medium are taxed based on the annual profit determined from the audited accounts.

a)  Presumptive tax system

This is a tax system where individuals are taxed based on their annual turnover. The Taxpayers under this system are not obligated to prepare and submit audited accounts to the TRA. However, he may opt not to apply the system and prepare audited accounts and pay tax based on profits.

Conditions which qualify to be in Presumptive tax system.

  • the Taxpayer must be a resident individual
  • the annual turnover of the business does not exceed the threshold of TSHS 20 million.
  • he must conduct business only for the year of income hence not be engaged in any other activities such as employment or investments. Under the presumptive tax system, individual’s income must be derived solely from business sources. If income is derived from other sources such as employment and/or investment the presumptive scheme cannot be used.
  • the individual’s income for any year must consist exclusively of income from business with sources in the United Republic of Tanzania.

Rates of tax under presumptive tax System.

Under this system, tax payable is established based annual turnover shown by taxpayers records. In absence of complete records, annual turnover will be estimated based on the best judgment of the commissioner. The turnover bands and their tax rates are as stipulated below:

Annual  turnover

Tax payable when records are incomplete

Tax payable when records are complete

Where turnovers does not exceed TSHS 4,000,000



Where turnover exceeds TSHS  4,000,000 but does not exceed TSHS 7,500,000


TSHS  150,000

3% of the turnover in excess of TSHS 4,000,000

Where turnover exceeds TSHS 7,500,000 but does not exceeds TSHS 11,500,000


TSHS  318,000

TSHS 135,000+3.8% of the turnover in excess of TSHS 7,500,000

Where turnovers exceeds TSHS. 11,500,000 but does not exceed TSHS 16,000,000


TSHS  546,000

TSHS 285,000+4.5% of the turnover in excess of TSHS11,500,000

Where turnover exceeds TSHS 16,000,000 but does not exceed TSHS 20,000,000


TSHS 862,500

TSHS 487,000+5.3% of the turnover in excess of TSHS 16,000,000


b)  Individuals who prepare audited accounts.

This is a group of taxpayers whose annual turnover is above TSHS 20,000,000 and are required to prepare audited accounts/financial statements in respect of their business.

Rates of tax for individuals who prepare Audited Accounts

Taxpayers under this category are taxed basing on their profits. The rates applicable for this category are as follows:


Tanzania Mainland

Annual Taxable  Income

Tax Rate

Where Total Income does not exceed TSHS 2,040,000


Where Total Income exceeds TSHS  2,040,000 but does not exceed TSHS   4,320,000

 9% of the amount in excess of TSHS 2,040,000

Where Total Income exceeds TSHS  4,320,000 but does not exceed TSHS  6,480,000

TSHS 205,200 plus 20% of the amount in excess of TSHS 4,320,000

Where Total Income exceeds TSHS  6,480,000 but does not exceed TSHS 8,640,000

TSHS 637,200 plus 25% of the amount in excess of TSHS 6,480,000

Where Total Income exceeds TSHS 8,640,000

TSHS 1,177,200 plus 30% of the amount in excess of TSHS 8,640,000



Annual Taxable Income

Tax Rate

Where total income does not exceed TSHS 1,800,000


Where total income exceeds TSHS 1,800,000 but does not exceed  TSHS. 4,320,000

13% of the amount in excess of TSHS. 1,800,000

Where total income exceeds TSHS 4,320,000 but does not exceed TSHS. 6,480,000

TSHS. 327,600 plus 20% of the amount in excess of TSHS. 4,320,000

Where total income exceeds TSHS 6,480,000 but does not exceed TSHS 8,640,000

TSHS. 759,600 plus 25% of the amount in excess of TSHS. 6,480,000

Where total income exceeds TSHS 8,640,000

TSHS. 1,299,600 plus 30% of the amount in excess of TSHS. 8,640,000


Filing of tax returns and payment of tax.

The statement of estimated tax payable.

The statement of estimated tax payable is a provisional return which a taxpayer is required to complete and file to the Commissioner within three months from the beginning of the year of income (which for individuals shall be calendar year).

The taxpayer is supposed to pay the estimated tax in a maximum of four installments each falling due after three months. The Due dates are as follows:

·         On or before 31st March

·         On or before 30th June

·         On or before 30th September

·         On or before 31st December

Form: ITX200.01.E – Statement of Estimated assessment - Individual


Filing of Final returns.

·         A taxpayer must file a final tax return to TRA within six months after the end of each tax year. The taxpayer must file return in the period between 1st January and 30th June

Forms:  ITX201.01.E Return of Income – Individual



Understanding PAYE

PAYE stands for Pay-As-You-Earn. It is a withholding tax on taxable incomes of employees. Under this system, an employer is required by law to deduct income tax from an employee's taxable salary or wages.

 Employee means:

An employee means an individual who is a subject of an employment conducted by an employer. It includes a permanent employee, part time, manager, director and casual employees. Employees may be employed by one or more employers (Primary and Secondary Employment).


Employer means:

An employer means a person who conducts, has conducted or has prospect of conducting the employment of an individual.

Full time service director means:

 Means a person at a managerial position and is in full time service in a corporation.

Administration of PAYE

An employer is required to withhold income tax from salaries, wages and all other payments forming taxable income paid to an employee.

Capital Gain from Realisation of Interest in Land or Buildings

 Realisation of interest in land and Building

A person who owns an interest in land or building shall be treated as realising the asset when the person parts with ownership of such interest including when it is sold, exchanged, transferred, distributed, cancelled, redeemed, destroyed or surrendered and in the case of interest of an entity when it ceases to exist, immediately before the entity ceases to exist.

The Income Tax Act requires a person who derives a gain from the realisation of an interest in land or buildings situated in the United Republic, to pay income tax by way of single instalment.

Excise Duty

Excise Duty is a duty charged on specific goods and services manufactured locally or imported on varying rates. It is charged in both specific and ad valorem rates.

Items charged under specific rates include:

Wine, spirits, beer, soft drinks, mineral water,  fruit juices, Recorded DVD,VCD,CD and audio tapes, cigarettes, tobacco,  petroleum products and Natural gas.

Items charged under ad-valorem rates include:

Money transfer services, electronic communication services, pay to view television services, imported furniture, motor vehicles, plastic bags, specified aircrafts, firearms, specified cases, cosmetics and medicaments.

Ad-valorem rates are: 0%, 5%, 10%, 17%, 15%, 20%, 25% ,30% and 50%.

Liability to pay excise duty.

Excise duty shall become due and payable in respect of:

(a) any scheduled article imported, by the importer thereof at the time immediately before the article ceases to be subject to customs control or at such other time as may be directed by the Minister in the Gazette,

(b) any scheduled article manufactured in the United Republic of Tanzania, by the manufacturer:

(i) upon sale of the article by him, or

(ii) upon the article ceasing to be subject to customs control, or

(iii) upon removal of the article from the premises where it manufactured, whichever first occurs.

(c) any scheduled article manufactured or imported by any person free of duty and which is subsequently sold to any other person, by the purchaser at the time of the sale of the article by him;

(d) any electronic communication service supplied by electronic communication service provider at the time when such mobile, fixed or wireless phone is in use or when payment is received for the service whichever time shall be the earliest.

(e) any pay-to-view satellite television service provider when the service is supplied.

Law governing tax Objections and Appeals

Objections and Appeals is governed by Tax Administration Act (2015) and Tax Revenue Appeals Act, Cap.408 as revised from time to time.

Introduction to Objection and Appeals

Tanzanian tax laws allow any person who feels aggrieved to request a formal change to an official decision regarding tax assessment made by the Commissioner General. A taxpayer who feels that the Commissioner  General misapplied the law, came to an incorrect factual finding, abused his powers, was biased, considered evidence which he should not have considered or failed to consider evidence that he should have considered in making an assessment,  may object against such an assessment.

What are the due dates for payment of duties and taxes?

 Income Taxes

  •  Withholding taxes are payable within seven (7) days after the end of calendar month
  •  Taxes payable in installments (Provisional assessed tax) payable on quarterly basis e.g in case of taxpayers whose accounting periods ends on 30th December the installments shall be due by the end of March, June, September and December.
  •  Self-assessed tax is payable on the date of filling the final return of income ( 6 months after the end of the year of income
  • Jeopardy assessed tax is payable on the date specified on the notice of assessment
  • Adjusted assessed tax is payable within 30 days from the date of assessment

Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT is payable on 20th day of the following month of the business that is a due date of submitting the return. If the 20th day follows on the Saturdays, Sunday, or public holiday the return shall be lodge on the first working day following the Saturdays, Sunday or Public day.

Customs taxes

Duties and Taxes on importation of goods are payable within 30 days from the date of assessment

Who qualifies as a returning resident?

Is a person arriving on first arrival to Tanzania whom the proper officer is satisfied that is bonafide changing residence from a place outside Tanzania to a place in Tanzania, where the person has neither been granted an exemption or is not resided in Tanzania before his arrival other than on temporary non-resident visits

Downloadable Tax Forms


Motor vehicles are used by many and unspecified persons on public roads and they are given social recognition only after been inspected and registered.  Motor vehicles are also subject to deterioration and wear of both the structure and equipment and sometimes their shapes and modified.

What are the laws governing registration of motor vehicles?

The registration of motor vehicles in Tanzania Mainland is governed by:

  •  The Road Traffic Act No. 30 of 1973
  •  Motor Vehicles (Tax on Registration and Transfer) Act 1972
  •  Traffic (Foreign Vehicles) Rules 1973
  • Road Traffic (Motor Vehicles Registration) (Amendment) Regulations, 2001

The objective of this system is to monitor and control the issuance of driving licences with a view to addressing the problem of fake licences which are the cause for many road accidents. This is because the system allows everybody to obtain any licence and drive any car one prefers. However under the current system holders of driving licence of certain class will be obliged to drive only such a class upon which he was tested for and not otherwise. At the initial stage the applicant will have to undergo biometric measures and finger prints.

Who are the beneficiaries of tax incentives?

Tax incentives are granted to both local and foreign investors provided they are registered by Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) and/or Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).Tax incentives are mainly in the form of enhanced capital deductions and allowances. They are structured as according to the lead and priority sectors including Agriculture, agro-based industries, mining, tourism, petroleum and gas and economic infrastructure (Road, railways, air and sea transport, port facilities, telecommunication, banking & insurance).

Please indicate your TIN and select the right GFS code whenever making electronic  Payment.  In case of any problem Accountant -Large Taxpayers Department  Tel.+255 22 2130173 or +255 22 2130185

This section consists of different types of publications.  The related publications can be accessed from specific group


The eighth edition of the Taxpayer’s Service Charter has been prepared to replace the sixth edition with a view of taking into account the changes which are currently taking place in our society and more specifically in the tax administration. 

TRA being a public institution established a Taxpayer’s Service Charter which stipulates taxpayer’s rights, obligations and service standards expected from TRA.   

TRA is implementing the Fourth Corporate Plan whose Vision is to increase domestic revenue through enhancement of voluntary tax compliance. In response to Government policies of increasing domestic revenue, TRA aims at increasing domestic revenue contribution to 70% by 2018.This will be achieved through improving efficiency in tax administration and widening the tax base in order to collect more revenue especially from specialized sector namely Mining, Oil and Gas, Telecommunications, Tourisim, Constructions, Real estate, Financial sector, High net-worth individual (HNWI) and Incomes from the informal sector.  

The Charter explains service level standards as well as the taxpayers’ rights which are covered in tax laws and reinforce the existing tripartite relationship of TRA-Public-Private Partnership which is based on mutual respect and trust. 

In the event of conflict of interpretation between this Charter and the tax laws, the proper interpretation of the law shall prevail.


What is Electronic Fiscal Device? (EFD)

Electronic Fiscal Device (EFD) means a machine designed for use in business for efficient management controls in areas of sales analysis and stock control system and which conforms to the requirements specified by the laws.

Types of Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs)

Electronic Tax Register (ETR)

The device is used by retail business that issue receipts manually.

Electronic Fiscal Printer (EFP)

The device is used by computerized retail outlets. It is connected to a computer network and stores every sale transactions or details made in its fiscal memory.

Electronic Signature Device (ESD)

The device is designed to authenticate by signing any personal computer (PC) produced financial document such as tax invoice. The device uses a special computer program to generate a unique number (Signature) which is appended to and printed to every invoice issued by the user’s system.


You are obliged to issue receipt or invoice on each sale and notify any changes/malfunctioning of the machine to Commissioner within 24 hours. The supplier of the machine will install, configure and attend the malfunctioning of the machine within 48 hours


Implementation of the second phase of Electronic Fiscal Devise (EFD) begun since year 2013, with the aim to expand the number of traders who shall use the EFD system to issue receipts or tax invoice in every transaction made. The second phase includes non VAT registered traders administered under The Tax Administration Act 2015,

Implementation of the second phase of EFD shall include the following groups;

i. Persons who are not VAT registered with a turnover ranging from TSHS 14 million and above per year;

ii. Traders trading in the Region’s prime areas, identified on the basis of rent payable;

iii. Traders dealing with selected business sectors such as Spare Parts, Hardware, Mini Supermarkets, Petrol stations, Mobile phone shops, Sub wholesale shops, Bar and Restaurants, Pharmaceutical Stores; Electronic Shops etc.

The system is ongoing and the Authority shall gradually be registering traders basing on traders business prosperity, experience and capacity


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