A GLANCE AT THE NEW PAYMENT SYSTEMS (ELECTRONIC MOBILE MONEY TRANSFER AND WITHDRAWAL TRANSACTIONS LEVY) REGULATIONS 2021

Published by Kemilembe Barongo

The advancement of Technology over the last few decades has seen the world evolve to secure and more convenient payment systems. In the past people had to make payments by making deposits in banks or physically handing the same to the intended persons. Over the years banking systems have evolved to include mobile money systems whereby people can process payments from the comfort of their own mobiles and make payment transactions at any time anywhere in the world. Out of the confines of the ordinary banking systems.

It is with that in spirit that The Tanzanian government circulated the National Payment systems Act CAP 437 of 2021, a code for all entities (collectors) dealing with mobile money transfer and withdrawal transactions to follow in implementing their duties.

What we need to know

The act prescribes that electronic mobile money transfer and withdrawal transactions shall attract a levy at the rate prescribed to the regulations and mandates all collectors to collect the levies imposed at the rates prescribed under the schedule and remit the same to the Tanzania Revenue Authority within seven days of the month following the month to which the levy relates.

All collectors who fail to remit the levies due within the prescribed timelines shall be liable for interests for each month of delay at the statutory rate issued by the Bank of Tanzania. The collectors must also submit returns for the prescribed period which in this case is the calendar period to which the levy relates. All monies collected as levy shall now be deposited into the consolidated fund.

The regulations prescribe that the Tanzanian revenue authority shall maintain a monitoring system for the overall monitoring of electronic mobile money transfer and withdrawal. The Authority shall have the mandate to do the following;

·        Verify the returns of the collector

·        Conduct inspections at the collector’s premises

·        Ensure compliance and request any data or information from the collectors

·        Take actions against non-compliance of the regulations

All levy collectors who fail to submit the requested data within the prescribed time shall be liable to pay a fine at the rate of five hundred thousand Tanzanian Shillings per each day during in which failure continues. And all persons aggrieved by the any decision of the Tanzania Revenue authority can now appeal to the Minister within thirty days for a reconsideration on the decision.

The regulations also prohibit the disclosure of information collected by any employee of the Tanzania Revenue Authority; this provision shall not be applicable however if the employee is required to disclose such operation to another law enforcement officer. All actions contrary to the prescribed regulations shall attract a penalty to the tune of Five Million Tanzanian Shillings or imprisonment of not less than twelve months or both.

Our Take

Modern payment systems have enhanced business transactions both internationally and locally and have lessened the burden banks bore previously. The new payment system regulations shall act as an oversight mechanism for the government in the collection of all applicable mobile money transfer levies and to ensure compliance of all levy collectors under the mobile payment system schemes. All collectors should thus familiarize themselves with this new system and ensure they undertake compliance to avoid hefty fines and penalties for non-compliance

What is your view on this new system??