By Patrick Soko
The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has unearthed another scam were over 8,000 heavy-duty vehicles (trucks and Earth Moving Machinery) have been dubiously imported into Zambia.
The government has lost about 480 Million Kwacha in taxes because these heavy-duty vehicles were imported dubiously using VAT deferred facility for other taxpayers.
In order to encourage the growth of the Manufacturing sector and industrialization, the government gives incentives to businesses engaged in manufacturing or industrialization related sectors by deferring Value Added Tax (VAT) on heavy duty Vehicles for those who qualify for the facility.
Authority Corporate Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda regrets that this facility has been abused by both clearing agents and importers who have been dubiously importing these vehicles by making false declarations and abrogating the Customs and Excise Act cap 322 of the laws of Zambia.
Sikalinda says smuggling of goods through false declarations, transit fraud, misclassifications, under declarations, and under Valuations is a serious offence and offenders shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.
He adds that the authority has so far revoked 136 clearing licenses for clearing companies and blocked their Tax Payer Identification numbers (TPINS) on the Asycuda world System.
“We shall tomorrow publish the first batch of heavy-duty trucks that were imported dubiously and another list will be published next week. We call upon the owners of these vehicles to report at the Inspectorate and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit offices within 14 days from date of publication,” Sikalinda added.
He has appealed to all people who know they imported these heavy-duty trucks and earth moving machinery but did not pay taxes to comply.
“We urge all citizens to pay taxes directly to the Zambia Revenue Authority to avoid being swindled by smugglers who pretend to be clearing agents, ” he explained.
Sikalinda further stated that Investigations will continue and more clearing agents and Vehicles will be published.