Cash Machine Use Expands Across Ethiopia

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VAT registered businesses in regions outside Addis Ababa are to begin using cash registration machines just as Addis has for the last three years.

According to Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) officials in Tigrai began enforcing the use of the machines early this week, while regions like Amhara, Oromia and SNNP are getting ready to begin using the system.

Teodros Tesfa, Data and Risk Management Directorate, director of ERCA, told Capital that Mekele branch of the Federal Revenue and Customs Authority and Tigrai regional state Revenue and Customs Bureau are implementing the new system because their preconditions have been finalized more quickly than other regions.

Teodros said that the first level regional Value Added Tax (VAT) registered companies have already begun using the cash register machines.

“In the long run, others will begin using the system but it takes time to implement on the regional level,” he added.    

The government plans to expand the use of cash register machine from the current 26,000 to 100,000 by the end of the current budget year.

In addition to that ERCA has increased the use of cash register machines in the capital city by including businesses that are not VAT registered.  While there are over 26,000 machine users in Addis Ababa, there are over 30,000 registered businesses. The Data and Risk Management director said that in this budget year, all regions are expected to begin using the sales register machine. 

Previously the authority ordered VAT registered traders to use the machine, while other small rate businesses will be included on the ERCA system in Addis Ababa. According to an ERCA official, the authority has already announced that small and medium businesses will begin using the system.

ERCA officials recently said that many traders in the biggest market area of Addis Ababa will begin using the system as well. The on line cash register machine was introduced in 2008 to tax payers who are registered as Federal Tax Payers by a limited number of traders, while the number of traders that use the cash machine have increased in the past two  years.

The electronic sales register machine records and prints information regarding services and goods performed through trade activities. The data is available for the machine users performing the trade and for the tax authorities to collect taxes accurately.  A complete sales register system includes a cash register machine i.e. a point of sales machine, a GPRS terminal, a GPRS/GSM mobile network connection and a server at the authority data center. The cash register alone or the point of sales with a fiscal printer is a sales registry machine.

Petram Plc was the sole authorized importer and supplier of the machine when the regulation was first started.  Later expanding its plan the authority has given to nine local companies the right to import the machines. Currently Petram Plc, Omedad Plc, Jupiter Trading Plc, Haron Computer Plc, Merchandise Wholesale & Import Trade Enterprise (MWITE), I-POS International Trading Plc, Ambasel Trading Plc, and Addis Home Depot Plc are accredited by ERCA to supply the sales register machines.

The price of the machine ranges from 6 to 15 thousand birr and the suppliers, which are accredited for 56 brand models by the ERCA, are also mandated to train customers on how to operate the machines and maintain them when necessary for a price. 

[Capital]

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