Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) wants to leave no stone unturned as any entity is eligible to pay tax so as sports fraternity are obligated to.
MRA made this announcement over the Weekend as paper Weekend Nation wrote in which football players admitted they were not aware of their tax responsibility.
In response, MRA spokesperson deputy director responsible for corporate affairs Steven Kapoloma said the exercise, which will be conducted by the tax education department “very soon”, will target sports clubs and associations.
He said: “Nevertheless, the Malawi Revenue Authority is reaching out to the whole sports industry, not only football, to educate them on their tax obligations. The authority has an ongoing programme in place on public engagements and has already lined up an interface with sports clubs and associations.
Footballers and other sports personalities will be required to pay tax
“This is meant to increase awareness on taxes and remind people about what is required of taxpayers to achieve the national goal of increasing the tax base.”
However, Kapoloma said it was difficult to come up with projections of how much MRA would be collecting from the sports industry.
“It has to be emphasised that companies are supposed to pay corporate tax on their profits and any other due tax in their own right. It is the duty of companies to register and timely submit tax returns to MRA according to Malawi tax laws, everyone earning income in the country is supposed to pay tax. The employer is charged with the duty of collecting income tax from employees,” said Kapoloma.
“The method of collecting income tax from employees on their earnings is Pay As You Earn [PAYE]. Any employer who pays an employee in excess of K20 000 per month or K240 000 per year is liable to deduct PAYE and remit to MRA. In this case, football players are not exempted from PAYE.”
Kapoloma said MRA was confident that football authorities are aware of the tax laws and regulations.
“The Malawi tax laws entrust taxpayers with the responsibility to pay tax voluntarily and submit documentation on taxes at all required times. MRA is aware that clubs in football and the sports industry have competent people who are aware of these laws and regulations,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) club licensing manager Casper Jangale said they are ready to engage MRA.
“There is need for civic education by MRA and football authorities on the importance of paying tax,” he said.
Silver Strikers and Nyasa Big Bullets also welcomed the development.
Silver general secretary Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda said it was high time football fraternity started being tax compliant.