Min­is­ter mute on PAYE

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By BUUMBA CHIMBULU

GOV­ERN­MENT has main­tained the ex­empt thresh­old for the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) start­ing at K3,300 per month de­spite calls from some stake­hold­ers to ad­just the tax as it is a strain on work­ers.

Among the stake­hold­ers who were call­ing on Gov­ern­ment to ad­just PAYE bands were the Zam­bia Union for Fi­nan­cial and Al­lied Work­ers (ZUFIAW) and the Zam­bia In­sti­tute of Char­tered Ac­counts (ZICA).

But Gov­ern­ment, has main­tained the bands in­tro­duced in the 2017 na­tional bud­get as ev­i­denced by the si­lence from the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance, Mr Felix Mu­tati, who did not men­tion any­thing on the sub­ject dur­ing his 2018 na­tional bud­get pre­sen­ta­tion to Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day.

Cur­rent in­come bands which have been main­tained were zero per­cent be­tween K0-K3, 300.00, 25 per­cent for bands be­tween K3, 300.01-K4, 100.00, 30 per­cent for those be­tween K4, 100.01-K6, 200.00 and 37.50 per­cent for work­ers above K6, 200.00.

Re­cently, ZUFIAW pres­i­dent, Ackim Mweemba, pro­posed that Gov­ern­ment should re­duce PAYE to 35 per­cent from the cur­rent 37.5 per­cent to give re­lief to the work­ers thereby in­creas­ing their disposable in­come.

“Work­ers de­serve lower PAYE and other tax re­liefs es­pe­cially that the gov­ern­ment is now get­ting sub­stan­tial amount of money from toll gates and we should bring on board the un­tapped in­for­mal sec­tor for it can im­mensely con­trib­ute rev­enue to the na­tional trea­sury,” he said.

ZUFIAW, through Mr. Mweemba cau­tioned the Mr. Mu­tati that the dan­ger of hav­ing high taxes might lead to Zam­bia fail­ing to achieve the 2030 trans­for­ma­tive sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals which were aimed at end­ing the tyranny of poverty in so­ci­ety.

And ZICA called on Gov­ern­ment to con­sider grant­ing tax re­lief to Zam­bian em­ploy­ees through re­duc­tion in PAYE tax rates and widen­ing the tax bands for pur­poses of tax­ing in­come for salaried work­ers.

ZICA ob­served that Zam­bia’s salaried em­ploy­ees were presently the high­est taxed per­sons in com­par­i­son to other coun­tries in the re­gion.

Mr. Mu­tati how­ever pro­posed to in­tro­duce penal­ties in the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, and Cus­toms and Ex­cise Act for tax­pay­ers that failed to fur­nish records upon re­quest and sim­i­larly for those who failed to is­sue tax in­voices.

He also pro­posed to change the due dates for sub­mis­sion of the VAT re­turns from the 16th to the 18th of ev­ery month.

ZUFIAW pres­i­dent, Ackim Mweemba

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