The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) says it has received overwhelming responses from members of the general public on the modalities of implementing Sales Tax as announced by the Finance Minister in the 2019 national budget.
Since the announcement of the budget on 28th September, 2018, stakeholders have been invited to give comments and suggestions to the Ministry of Finance on the execution of the 2019 budget.
Recently the Patriots for Economic Progress (PEP) President Mr Sean Tembo issued a statement that seems to suggest that the Authority was against the re-introduction of sales tax.
The Zambia Revenue Authority is a government collection agency mandated to collect tax and give advisory services to the government. Facts of the matter are that the Authority did a detailed analysis and went to suggest to the Ministry of Finance that Zambia should migrate from Value Added Tax (VAT) to Sales Tax due to weaknesses and complications in its administration.
The Authority believes that sales tax will create a steady cash flow for both the business community and Government unlike is with the case of VAT refunds where business entities have to wait for a refund in order to consistently operate.
Under sales tax, ZRA wants to provide a solution to the country’s consumption tax system which will reduce on frauds and has led to transfer pricing malpractice related to VAT.
Acting Commissioner General Ms Brigitte Muyenga speaking on behalf of the Commissioner General who is currently out of the country said “the authority is in full support of sales tax and the idea was originated by the authority to migrate from VAT to sales tax which will definitely be lower than VAT and benefit the ordinary Zambian citizens by paying a lower tax than the current VAT”.
Ms Muyenga said “sales tax will also help broaden the tax base and increase revenue contributions by all sectors and individuals in the entire value chain”.
The 2019 budget saw the re-introduction of Sales tax to replace the Value Added Tax (VAT) as proposed by the Zambia Revenue Authority.
Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has also stated that the ministry will soon constitute a Tax Policy Review Committee to address all concerns in the budget as well as work on the modalities of the sales tax.
The Authority says it is taking all concerns and comments raised to the parent ministry so that all Zambians can have an input in the economic governance of the country.