THE Zambia Revenue Authority says it collected K27.7 billion in gross taxes, with refunds amounting to K4.5 billion during the period January 1 to June 30, 2018.
And the Authority says it has paid out K4.2 billion in Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds in the first half of this year.
Addressing journalists at Hotel InterContinental in Lusaka yesterday, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) commissioner general Kingsley Chanda highlighted the performance of the Authority in the first half of this year.
“During the period 1st January to 30th June, 2018, the Authority collected K27.7 billion in gross taxes, with refunds amounting to K4.5 billion. This resulted in a net collection of K23.2 billion which was K1.4 billion or 6.4 per cent above target of K21.8 billion. This performance was largely attributed to the strong outturn of domestic and import VAT during the period under review owing to the successful implementation of key administrative and policy measures,” Chanda disclosed.
On Tax Payer Identification Number (TPIN) registration for bank account holders, Chanda noted that following consultations with stakeholders led by the Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ), the ZRA opted to extend the deadline of TPIN registration for existing bank account holders from June 30 to December 31, 2018.
“It must be emphasised that this deadline only applies to persons who already had bank accounts at the time the law was amended to require bank account holders to have a TPIN. This deadline does not apply to persons opening new accounts as banks and financial institutions already require a TPIN before any new account is opened. This extension shall be final and all affected persons must take advantage and get registered,” he said.
“As we have always emphasised, the objective of the TPIN registration is not to intrude into people’s private financial transactions as ZRA’s mandate does not extend to such. The objective of TPIN registration is to ensure that there is an inclusive and comprehensive tax register in the country. It is in this regard that all banks and financial institutions are also required to demand a TPIN for opening and maintaining an account. It must be noted that the TPIN requirement is not only peculiar to Zambia but is a global practice.”
Chanda added that the ZRA had decentralised anti-smuggling operations in order to effectively deal with the vice.
“I am happy to report that so far five customs enforcement centres have been established and the following are now fully operational: Nakonde, Chipata, Chirundu and Livingstone. Mongu is another key area that is earmarked for a fully operational enforcement centre. The creation of these offices is dynamic and is based on risk assessment. Additionally, more offices will be opened across the country to ensure that smuggling is minimised. I must also mention that the Authority’s stance to deal sternly with smuggling has not changed…” Chanda explained.
And Chanda explained the process of clearing of Mukula logs.
“The general public may be aware that the government of the Republic of Zambia has restricted timber exports to finished and processed products. At the moment, only the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) is allowed to export Mukula timber. Other entities wishing to export Mukula may only do so through ZAFFICO by obtaining…requisite documentation…” he noted.
On VAT refunds and tax assessments, Chanda revealed that in the first half of 2018, the ZRA paid out K4.2 billion in refunds and that of that amount, K2.50 billion or 60 per cent was paid to the mining sector.
“K1.7 billion or 40 per cent was paid to other sectors in the economy. Specifically, K124.2 million was paid to small and medium taxpayers with refunds due amounts not exceeding of K1 million. During the same period, K193.21 million was offset against approved and established refund liabilities. It is important to note that the refunds stated above do not include the disputed VAT Rule 18 related refunds currently standing at around K4.1 billion. However, assessments totalling K16.7 billion relating to VAT Rule 18 have been issued against some of the major claimants. Therefore, on net basis, taxpayers in the mining sector owe government in taxes. The nation will be informed in due course as and when an amicable solution is reached,” explained Chanda.