Zam­bia Rev­enue Author­ity to cross check ac­cu­racy of tax dec­la­ra­tions

• be­gins tax re­turns re­views for 2015 to 2017

Zambian Business Times - - BUSINESS REVIEW -

Zam­bia Rev­enue Author­ity has be­gun un­der­tak­ing com­pre­hen­sive com­pli­ance re­views to en­sure tax­pay­ers dec­la­ra­tions are con­sis­tent for the last three years.

Ac­cord­ing to a press state­ment re­leased on Au­gust 21, 2018, ZRA Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral Kings­ley Chanda stated that in 2017 the author­ity ran a tax amnesty on in­ter­est and penal­ties aris­ing from late or non-sub­mis­sion of re­turns and late or non-pay­ment of tax li­a­bil­i­ties on all do­mes­tic tax li­a­bil­i­ties.

Chanda said that fol­low­ing the ex­piry of the last time-to-pay agree­ments un­der the amnesty on June 30, 2018, the author­ity has started un­der­tak­ing com­pre­hen­sive com­pli­ance re­views of all tax re­turns and cus­toms dec­la­ra­tions sub­mit­ted in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The tax amnesty ex­er­cise was in­tended to give an opportunity to tax­pay­ers to de­clare all trans­ac­tions that had not been re­ported and to re­solve their tax in­debt­ed­ness aris­ing from in­ter­est and penal­ties. The amnesty also of­fered tax­pay­ers longer time-to-pay agree­ments un­til June 30 this year.

Chanda said that the ob­jec­tive of the ex­er­cise was to en­sure that tax­pay­ers’ dec­la­ra­tions on the ZRA data­base are con­sis­tent across all tax types and this is be­ing done by means of cross-match­ing Do­mes­tic Tax data on Tax On­line and cus­toms data on ASYCUDA World us­ing a rev­o­lu­tion­ary ap­proach.

Re­sults so far in­di­cate that many tax­pay­ers con­tinue to be eva­sive when re­port­ing to cus­toms and to do­mes­tic tax on com­pa­ra­ble trans­ac­tions.

Chanda fur­ther in­formed tax­pay­ers whose dec­la­ra­tions will be flagged by the data match­ing sys­tem that they will re­ceive a no­ti­fi­ca­tion re­quest­ing them to pro­vide an ex­pla­na­tion for the iden­ti­fied vari­a­tions within 14 days of the no­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“Should a tax­payer fail to oblige with this re­quest for in­for­ma­tion and records, ZRA shall pro­ceed to amend the tax­payer’s tax as­sess­ments by mak­ing ad­just­ments that may be deemed fit in ac­cor­dance with the rel­e­vant pro­vi­sions of the In­come Tax Act, the Value Added Tax Act and the Cus­toms and Ex­cise Act”, he said.

He said that fail­ure to pro­vide the in­for­ma­tion and records re­quested may re­sult in in­cur­ring of fines or penal­ties in ac­cor­dance with the afore­men­tioned leg­is­la­tion’s.

The ZRA en­cour­aged tax­pay­ers to com­ply vol­un­tar­ily on their tax obli­ga­tions and tax­pay­ers who choose to evade taxes would be iden­ti­fied and brought to ac­count, not­ing that tax com­pli­ance is every­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.

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