No Mercy for Tax Evaders – Zam­bia Rev­enue Author­ity ‘Chief ’ Kings­ley Chanda Plans for 2018

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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