TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (“TIN”)
A Taxpayer Identification Number (“TIN”) is a unique identification number assigned to individuals and entities largely for tax purposes. A TIN is issued by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (“TRA”), which is the governing body responsible for tax administration in the country.
Forms of TIN
There are two forms of TIN:
(a) A non-business TIN – which is not associated with an individual’s earnings. A non-business TIN is mostly provided upon a request for a driving license.
(b) Business TIN – which is associated with individual’s or an entity’s earnings. As relevant, earnings can be from employment, business, or investment.
It is imperative to note that an individual cannot have more than one TIN, nor can it be shared. In cases where an individual first obtained a non-business TIN, the same TIN would be converted to a business TIN where one is associated with an employment, business, or investment activities.
The guiding Provision(s)
The context of business TIN in Tanzania is guided by the Tax Administration Act (“TAA”). The TAA requires a person who becomes potentially liable to tax by reason of carrying a business, investment, or employment to apply for a TIN within fifteen (15) days from the date of commencing the business, investment, or employment.
Acquisition of TIN
TIN application is done online in the TRA gateway portal by submitting the required supporting documents of the applicant’s identity, business registration documents, correct description of the premises where the proposed business or investment is to take place, and other relevant information.
The taxpayer portal allows for both resident and non-resident persons to apply for either a business TINs or non-business TIN using a National Identification Number (“NIN”) or any valid identification card including a passport, driving licence, Voters’ ID, and Zanzibar ID. Upon registration and application, one can obtain a TIN within 24 hours.
For cases where one has forgotten his/her TIN, a person can visit the TRA offices with valid identification documents for retrieval of the TIN.
Recently, TINs for companies are a replica of similar numbers provided upon company registration (incorporation number).
TIN certificate for business purpose
A person who conducts any business is required to produce a TIN Certificate or a certified copy of the TIN Certificate and display it at a visible place (at the premises) for ease of inspection.
Should one change their details with respect to TIN (such as change of principal place of business, change in main outlets, change of number of shareholders, to mention but a few.), a notification to the Commissioner General must be made.
Cancellation of TIN
The Commissioner General may cancel a TIN in case of the following circumstances:
- Death of the bearer of the TIN;
- The person described in the TIN is fictitious;
- The identity of the person holding the TIN is different from the one a certificate was issued;
- The person to whom the TIN was issued is a holder of another TIN;
- There are reasonable grounds to warrant cancellation of the TIN.
Failure to comply with the TIN provisions as prescribed in the law is a punishable offence in the eyes of the law. A person will be liable for an offence for failure to comply with the tax laws as specified in the TAA under Section 82(b), conviction of a fine of
- not less than TZS 150,000 and not more than TZS 375,000; or
- imprisonment for a term of not less than one month and not more than three months; or
- to both.