No Mercy for Tax Evaders – Zambia Revenue Authority ‘Chief ’ Kingsley Chanda Plans for 2018
ZAMBIA REVENUE AUTHORITY is all out to assist the state to raise the required funding for the deficits it is currently running.
• Tax Boss announces measures for revenue tapping to improve compliance;
• Reflects on weak points for 2017;
• Turnover tax to be revised.
ZAMBIA REVENUE AUTHORITY is all out to assist the state to raise the required funding for the deficits it is currently running. The revenue authority chief has pledged to exhibit no mercy for tax evaders in 2018. The year 2017 was specifically dedicated to engagement with tax payers, through tax amnesty. The year 2018 has come and Commissioner General for Zambia Revenue Authority, Mr. Kingsley Chanda, said at a media briefing on 09 January, 2018 that there will be no mercy for tax evaders this year as the authority is looking to exceed the tax glory recorded in 2017.
According to Mr. Chanda, "The ZMW7billion difference between the 2018 and 2017 targets is composed of tax policy measures as pronounced by the Minister of Finance in his 2018 Budget address at ZMW2.2billion accounting for 31.9% and macroeconomic assumptions plus efficiency gains together accounting for ZMW4.8billion accounting for the remaining 68.1%".
These targets that ZRA aims to achieve are set by the Ministry of Finance through a very consultative budget process.
Other broad measures the authority has lined up for 2018.
Mr. Chanda further highlighted that the Authority, in 2018, would be poised to increase compliance through the implementation of various initiatives such as roll-out of Electronic Fiscal Devices – EFD’s for all taxpayers registered for Value Added Tax – VAT to ensure that suppliers make correct and accurate.
The roll out has reached an advanced stage as user acceptance tests have been done and currently selected members of staff are undergoing training in the management of the devices and the roll-out of the devices is expected to commence in the month of January.
To lessen the cost of compliance for our taxpayers, government has lifted duty the on importation of the EFD’s.
Furthermore, the Telecommunications Transaction Monitoring System – TTMS for firms operating in the mobile network telecommunications sub-sector is expected to be put in place this year. This will ensure that ZRA collects the correct taxes from this sub sector.
The Tax Boss added that "broadening of the tax base has been a topical subject in our country for some time now".
"As a response, and in order to optimize revenue collection from the informal sector, ZRA will appoint tax agents for collection of Base Tax, Turnover Tax, Tax on Rental Income and presumptive tax on taxis and minibuses" said Mr. Chanda.
The Authority will also enter into negotiations with identified strategic institutions to appoint them as tax agents.
Additional measures for revenue tapping
"Other initiatives include the establishment of a Customs Valuation Referencing Database - CVRDB which is intended to enhance the credibility of the valuation process and thereby enhance compliance" said Mr. Chanda.
Beginning 1st January 2018 the Authority has implemented a transparent and predictable system for determining duties payable on used motor vehicles as pronounced by the Hon. Minister of Finance in the 2018 budget speech.
The move is aimed at addressing concerns of alleged corruption in the clearance of motor vehicles at our various points of entry.
How will the Authority will deal to Fraudulent Tax leaks?
"I further wish to inform the public that in order to safeguard Government revenue against fraudulent tax refund claims the Authority has established a dedicated Refund Processing Office" revealed Mr. Chanda.
The Office is expected to be fully functional in the course of this year will help curb revenue leakages as it will be expected to conduct thorough examinations of all refund claims before any refund can be sanctioned.
Mr. Chanda added that "the Authority realizes that it is a people driven institution and therefore places a high premium on staff morale and development".
Capacity building for tax officials is in the offering.
The Authority will in 2018, with the support of Government, various cooperating partners and other stakeholders, continue to enhance capacity development for members of staff in order to equip them with the needed expertise in adapting to the ever evolving business environment.
ZRA operates in the global environment and it is therefore important that it benchmarks performance against other well performing tax administrations around the world in areas such as automation of business processes and taxpayer services.
"This will enable us to implement good practices and enhance operational efficiency stated Mr. Chanda.
In the same vein, the Authority is implementing system interfaces with other institutions such as, the Patents and Companies Registration Agency - PACRA, National Pension Scheme Authority - NAPSA and the Road Transport and Safety Agency - RTSA in order to maximize the use of third-party data in taxpayer compliance management.
As part of the continuous efforts aimed at improving trade facilitation, the Authority will implement the Electronic Import and Export Permit issuance system in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture as well as the Electronic Voucher of Exemption issued by the Ministry of Finance.
Mr. Chanda is confident that such systems will simplify and quicken the processing time and further strengthen the controls.
"The 2018 target is set at ZMW44,7billion, which is K7billion or 18.7% higher than the 2017 target of ZMW37.6billion". ZRA Director General - Kingsley Chanda