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Tanzania Tax Identification Number (TIN): All You Need To Know

All you need to know about the Tanzania Tax Identification Number (TIN), when you need it, and how to get it.

About The Tanzania Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)

A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is a unique identification number assigned to individuals and entities in Tanzania 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.

TIN Guiding Provision(s) – Who Needs It

The context of business TIN in Tanzania is guided by the Tax Administration Act (TAA) which 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.

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Failure to Comply with TIN Provisions

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), with the conviction of a fine of

  1. not less than TZS 150,000 and not more than TZS 375,000; or
  2. imprisonment for a term of not less than one month and not more than three months; or
  3. both.
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The table below indicates transactions for which a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is required:

Forms of TIN

There are two forms of TIN:

    • 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.
    • Business TIN–which is associated with an 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 employment, business, or investment activities. 

    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 a change of principal place of business, change in main outlets, or change in the number of shareholders to mention but a few), a notification to the Commissioner General must be made.

    Transactions For Which TIN is Required

    INSTITUTION  PURPOSE OF TRANSACTIONS
    All contracts, including contracts of supply of goods and servicesNew registrations under the Value Added Tax Act   Importation of goods, customs clearing and forwarding
    Registration of ownership or transfer of vehicles under the Road Traffic Act
    Licensing of motor vehicles under the Transport Licensing Act
    Any correspondence to the Commissioner General of the Tax Authority
    Commissioner for LandsRegistration of title upon transfer of ownership  
    Central and local government  Trade licence
    Business Registration and Licensing Authority (BRELA)New Registrations
    Registrar of Patents and Trade Service Marks  New Registration
    Ministry of Industry and Trade  Trade licensing and industrial licensing
    Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism  Licensing
    Ministry of Energy and Minerals  Licensing
    All Government Ministries, Government Agencies, Local Government Authorities, Financial Institutions, Cooperative Societies, and Public BodiesAll contracts, including contract of supply of goods and services
    Workers’ Compensation FundEmployee’s Registration  
    Occupational Safety and Health AuthorityEmployee’s Registration  
    Government, Company, or individualEmployment  

    Acquisition of TIN (How to Get it)

    TIN application is done online on 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.

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    The taxpayer portal allows for both resident and non-resident persons to apply for either a business TIN or non-business TIN using a National Identification Number (NIN) or any valid identification card including a passport, driving license, Voters’ ID, and Zanzibar ID. Upon registration and application, one can obtain a TIN within 24 hours.

    In 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).

    Cancellation of TIN

    The Commissioner General may cancel a TIN in case of the following circumstances:

    1. Death of the bearer of the TIN;
    2. The person described in the TIN is fictitious;
    3. The identity of the person holding the TIN is different from the one a certificate was issued;
    4. The person to whom the TIN was issued is a holder of another TIN;
    5. There are reasonable grounds to warrant the cancellation of the TIN.
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