The Tanzania Revenue Authority (the “TRA”) has issued a public notice (the “Notice”) on the mode of communication between taxpayers and the TRA in respect of tax matters. The Notice stipulates that taxpayers have a right to be represented by an authorised representative who must be formally appointed by a power of attorney, duly registered with the Registrar of Documents, and by notifying the TRA Commissioner General (the “Commissioner”) in writing of such appointment.
The Notice suggests that any person who is an owner, director or a manager of a company or entity has a right to represent that company or entity without a power of attorney duly registered being in place, but any other person must be so appointed by a power of attorney duly registered, if they are to act on behalf of/represent such company or entity in relation to tax matters.
Please note that the onus is on the taxpayer to notify the Commissioner in writing of the appointment of an authorised representative and where the taxpayer fails to do so, they may lose the right of representation by their authorised representative in tax matters.
All professional representatives such as advocates and tax consultants can only represent taxpayers upon being formally appointed as stated above. Please note that tax consultants must also be registered by the Commissioner and issued with a registration certificate in order to practice, represent a taxpayer and/or provide tax advice. Further, registered clearing and forwarding agents and any other agents authorised by taxpayers to represent them with the Commissioner of Customs in relation to customs and excise matters are recognised as authorised representatives and are also required to comply with the appointment requirements stated above.
All taxpayers should comply with this Notice in order to ensure communication between them and the TRA is legally recognised. Any communication with the TRA by persons who are not formally appointed as authorised representatives and the Commissioner is not notified in writing of such appointment of the representative, is contrary to the law and it may lead to decisions being rendered which may not bind either the TRA or the taxpayer.