1. Generic Taxes

a) Presumptive tax system

This is a tax system where MSME(small individual traders and medium individual traders) 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, MSME may opt not to apply the system and prepare audited accounts and pay tax based on profits.

Conditions that 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.

  • MSME 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 MSME 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 table 1 below:

Table 1

2. Specific Agricultural Taxes

Tax Payment Procedures

Every business is supposed to be registered and get Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)from a nearby TRA office (see business registration).

The Income Tax Act requires every individual who supposed to pay tax in the United Republic of Tanzania, to maintain all documents necessary to enable an accurate determination of the tax payable. MSMEs are paying their taxes in terms of instalment

Tax on Instalment is paid when MSMEs are not able to pay the whole tax at once, the tax is supposed to be paid on several instalments in quarterly basis, for example when an MSMEs accounting periods ending at 30th December, then taxes for the coming year should be paid at the end of March, June, September, and December.

For the local government taxes and levies are directly paid to the local government assigned authorities.

    • Firstly an MSMEs have to know under which category of income tax the business is falling

    • Secondly MSMEs have to obtain forms from nearby TRA offices to fill in important information

    • Filling accurate returns for assessment of the sum of tax supposed to be paid by MSMEs per quarter, assessments is done by TRA assigned officer

Ways of Paying Tax

  • GFS Code (Through Assigned Banks)

These are special designed numbers used by taxpayers to pay tax. Taxpayers are filling in these numbers in a given deposit paying slip. The numbers are different depending on the nature of tax to be paid

  • TISS (Through Assigned Banks)

TISS stand for Tanzania Interbank Settlement System. This is a simplest way used by the taxpayers to order the commercial bank to transfer payments to BOT, and the contents which are found in the TISS form are: Name of Account holder (s), Account number, Name of commercial Bank, Amount in TZS, Amount in words and value date.

  • Payment through Mobile Phones

This is a system whereby taxpayers pay taxes through mobile phone such as M-pesa, TigoPesa, AirtelMoney and Max Malipo

For the purpose ofusing this service, taxpayers are advised to fulfil the following requirements:

i.A taxpayer must be a subscriber and registered with the fore mentioned mobile networks. Taxpayers are advised to contact the selected agents scattered throughout the country.

ii.After being registered a taxpayer will be required to load money to his/her Agents Account.

After having fulfilled the requirements for paying tax through the stated systems, taxpayers are advised to follow the instructions given by the service provider

Taxes thathave to be paid through mobile by MSMEs include personal income tax, presumptive taxes, motor vehicle taxes and fees

Table 2

3. Associated Regulations

  • The Income Tax Act, 2004

This Act to make provision for the charge, assessment and collection of Income Tax, for the ascertainment of the income to be charged and for matters incidental thereto.

  • Tanzania Revenue Act, 2006

This is an Act to establish the Tanzania Revenue Authority as a central body for the assessment and collection of specified revenue, to administer and enforce the laws relating to such revenue and to provide for related matters. This Act applies to Tanzania Zanzibar as well as to Mainland


  • Finance Act, 2003

An Act to impose and alter certain taxes and duties, also to amend certain written financial and tax laws relating to collection, and management of public revenues. Also this Act serves as an amendment for the previous business related Acts.

  • Finance Act, 2006

This is an Act to impose and alter certain taxes, duties, fees and to amend certain written laws relating to the collection and management of public revenues. The Act was an amendment of several previous Acts such as Cashew nut Board Act, amendment of the Excise Act (Management and Tariff) Act, and amendment of Gaming Act. Also as an amendment of Income Tax Act of 2004, amendment of the Local Government Finances Act, and as an amendment of the Mining Act. Additionally, this serves as an amendment of the Road and Fuel Tolls Act, Stamp Duty Act, Tanzania Investment Act, Tanzania Revenue Act, Tax Revenue Appeals Act, and Value Added Tax Act.