Versatility and due diligence is required most in the production of business news especially taxation. The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Head of Corporate Affairs said this when he officially opened the 2019 Annual Conference of the Association of Business Journalists (ABJ), where the Authority conducted a media training on the 2019/2020 new tax measures.
Speaking on behalf of the Commissioner General at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi on Friday December 20, Kapoloma said it is crucial for the media in the country and ABJ members to fully understand the taxation process when pursuing stories.
“There has been a substantial growth in the working relationship between MRA, Business Journalists, media houses and ABJ. This year, our analysis shows that over 80 percent of media coverage on taxes and MRA were professionally balanced. We have moved to a stage where the media is now directly engaging us to have an in-depth view of taxes and also hear our side of the story when the need arises. This is commendable,” Kapoloma said.
On the new tax measures, he said MRA has been conducting the media training with ABJ for the past 5 years to empower Business Journalists with adequate knowledge on changes in taxation laws and the affected sectors of the economy.
“This year, there are exciting measures that are directly benefitting the tourism sector where importation of construction materials for qualifying establishments is now duty free. There is a removal of duty for motorcycles with 100cc engine capacity and adjustments in the Pay As You Earn (PAYE),” said Kapoloma.
The presentation for Domestic Taxes new measures was made by the Manager, Taxpayer Service Nancy Mwale and Shadreck Chilizani covered Customs and Excise.
Members sought clarification ranging from personal rebate, PAYE, carbon tax to exploration of MRA taxing village banks.
ABJ’s outgoing National Coordinator, Aubrey Mchulu, who is also Editor of the Nation newspaper expressed gratitude to MRA for the training and committed that members of the association will remain professional.
Tens of ABJ members attended the annual conference, where new leadership was elected. The Director of News and Programmes at Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Vincent Khonyongwa, is the new National Coordinator. He has since pledged to sustain the working relationship between ABJ and MRA.
BY HENRY MCHAZIME