Companies engaged in the supply of cash register machines with permit from the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) have complained of lack of support from the authority.
Experts, who requested anonymity, told Capital that the sales register machines businesses are now uncomfortable with staffs accredited by ERCA to manage the services.
“We are doing our best to closely follow technical staff from illegal actions or fraud,” a major sales register machines’ general manager told Capital.
He said that his company is highly secured in terms of providing new machines, servicing or repairing but full time management is difficult. “We cannot control employees all the time,” experts added."We are now very anxious because of unexpected fraud by technical staff,” they added.
They claimed that the authority as power to provide adequate support for companies and technical staffs to keep them away from fraud and tax evasion. They also added that ERCA has to carefully identify technical employees who change their works.
They said that currently, there are no mechanisms to monitor former sales register machine technicians.
According to them, the authority is responsible for controlling former technicians to keep them from abusing the cash register machine. Some of the traders lobby the former technicians, with knowledge of how the machine operates, to abuse the system for the purpose of tax evasion, according to experts.
“We are not comfortable with staff who have left the cash register machine supply companies, ” they explained.
The 2007 ‘Sealing of Sales Register Machines and Terminals, Directive No 46’, ensured that the authority would have close control of the operation, maintenance and opening of fiscal memory of the sales register machines. For instance article 22, sub-article 4 of the directive states that the opening and re-sealing of a machine can only be done by an authorized service person in the presence of an inspector from the Authority.
Recently, two cash register machine abuses have been observed in the two major sales register machine suppliers.
A few months ago, the leading sales register machine supplier, Haron Computer, reported fraud by its own technical staff. Following the legal procedure at the court, two other technical staffs of Haron and few other traders were sued for tax evasion and abuse of the cash register machine.
A few weeks ago, a company called Zamay Industrial PLC claimed that it got over 800,000 birr printed from its machine when it sent the machine for maintenance at Jupiter Trading, one of the 14 authorized cash register machine suppliers. The authority is undertaking investigations on two Jupiter Trading technicians regarding the issue.
Tewodros Tefera, Deputy Director General of the ERCA, told Capital that as per the law, the companies are also responsible for managing technicians accredited by ERCA.
He said that the taxpayers are also expected to report to ERCA when formerly assigned technicians are involved in tax fraud.