The Government aims for a tax system which is broad based with as few exemptions as possible. However, exemptions are granted for a variety of reasons, such as to adhere to international norms for those with diplomatic status, to remove tax burden from donor funded projects, to respect Government commitments in legal agreements, and to implement certain policies such as support for NGOs or for certain economic sectors. Tax exemptions are listed in the schedules to the tax laws, which set out categories of exemptions and the relevant criteria for qualifying for exemptions. In addition, tax exemptions are granted through Government Notices signed by the Minister for Finance published in the Government Gazette.

Exemption Schedules

Consult the exemption schedules to the tax laws here:

Beneficiaries of Import Tax exemptions

The following are the beneficiaries of Import Tax exemptions;

Year/Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2003             Click Click Click Click click Click
2004 click Click Click Click Click click click Click Click Click Click Click
2005 click Click click Click click click Click Click Click      
2006             click click click click    
2007   Click Click Click     Click Click Click Click Click Click
2008 Click Click Click                  

Exemption Government Notices

Here you may download the database of tax exemption Government Notices (GNs). This database covers GNs issued in or after 1997. There may be a time lag before the most up-to-date GNs are inserted. To use the database you must have Microsoft Access on your computer. You may also download the simple user guide to use the database.

Treasury Voucher System

Exemptions for non-governmental organisations and vehicles for public officials are administered through the Treasury Voucher system. This means that the tax is assessed as usual but the Government pays the tax on behalf of the exemption beneficiary. For this reason, beneficiaries of these types of exemptions are requested to apply well in advance of importation or purchase to avoid delays.

Tanzania Investment centre

There is also an exemption for Tanzania Investment Centre certified investors for purchase of initial deemed capital goods for their project - this is set out in the main body of the relevant tax laws. For more information see Tanzania Investment Centre .

Export Processing Zones

An export processing zone (EPZ) is a special zone where different taxation rules apply. A company operating in an EPZ must sell at least 70% of its produce outside Tanzania. Any produce sold in the “Customs Territory” of Tanzania will be treated as an import into Tanzania for tax purposes, i.e. import duty, VAT and excise on imports as applicable will be levied. The Export Processing Zones are regulated under the Export Processing Zones Act and relevant provisions are included in the tax laws to reflect this. Companies in the EPZ enjoy the following fiscal incentives:

  • Exemption from corporate income tax for ten years and thereafter a rate of corporate income tax no higher than 25%
  • Exemption from withholding tax on interest and dividends
  • Exemption from stamp duty on documents relating to activities in the EPZ
  • Exemption from all taxes and levies imposed by local government authorities (except for goods sold in customs territory)
  • Exemption from 50% of the training levy for investors who train local employees

In addition there are special provisions for companies in the EPZ as regards purchasing of inputs, compared to a normal exporter.

EPZ exporter Normal exporter
Does not pay customs duty, VAT and other tax on imports* Pays customs duties, VAT and excise on imports as appropriate, and is entitled to reclaim import duties and VAT
Does not pay VAT or excise on local purchases* Pays VAT and excise as appropriate on local purchases, and is entitled to reclaim VAT
Exempt from Pre-Shipment Inspection Subject to pre-shipment inspection fee for imports of 1.2%
On-site inspection of imports in the EPZ Port inspection of imports

*provision applies to goods purchased for use as raw materials, equipment, machinery including all good and services directly related to the manufacture in the EPZ but shall not include motor vehicles, spare parts and consumables