The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has announced thatmaximising voluntary compliance for enhanced revenue mobilisation” is the theme for the year 2020.
Speaking today at a press briefing on the performance of the Zambia Revenue Authority in 2019, Commissioner General Kinglsey Chanda said the focus in 2020 will be to assist taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations voluntarily.
Mr. Chanda said the Authority will work to ensure that taxpayers are knowledgeable with their tax obligations and rights so that they do the correct things all the time.
And Mr. Chanda has announced that the government has set the revenue target for ZRA at K59 billion.
“We are hopeful that with the support of our taxpayers and other stakeholders, we will meet this target. We will leverage on technology and our staff to attain this enormous task in 2020″, Mr. Chanda said.
Mr. Chanda informed the nation that ZRA surpassed its revenue target of K51.8 billion for the fiscal year 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2019 by K1.1 billion.
He said in 2019, zra collected K63.8 billion in gross revenue, while the refunds stood at K10.9 billion resulting inanet collection of K52.9 billion. The net collection of K52.9 billion translated to 17.6% of the projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimate for 2019 compared to the targeted 17.3%.
He added that all this success came against the background of the unfavourable economic environment especially during the second half of 2019.The Commissioner General attributed the good performance to higher than programmed revenue collections under indirect and trade taxes which posted surpluses of K264.8 million and K906.3 million, respectively.

He however, noted that there were significant poor yields in mineral royalty and excise taxes largely due to prolonged shut downs at major smelting facilities leading to lower production for the former and the delayed implementation of the telecommunications transaction monitoring system and the digital tax stamps for the latter.
Mr. Chanda also said there is a lot of commitment through government to dismantle Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds.
He said will ensure that current refunds in 2020 are honoured while a plan will be agreed with the Ministry of Finance on dealing with refund arrears without distorting the input/output performance of VAT in 2020.
The Commissioner General thanked the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the Governing Board, the German government through GIZ, European Union, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Development Bank, the US Treasury and the world customs organization for the continued support rendered to the Authority.  He also thanked members of staff for the resilience in ensuring that the Authority performs its mandate beyond the set targets.  Mr. Chanda highlighted that in in line with the Corporate Strategic plan 2019-2021 which emphasizes enhanced tax compliance and customer focus, the Authority implemented structural changes and modernization reforms such as the TaxOnline II, Taxonphone, Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs), fresh start which gave taxpayers an opportunity to start the new year on a clean slate and the implementation of the customs self-assessment (CSA) at the five Centralised Processing Centres (CPCS) among other reforms. The Commissioner General noted that the Authority will keep intensifying its enforcement activities whose budget has been increased to K245.3 million compared against K198.5 million in 2019. Mr. Chanda said in 2019, the Inspectorate and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit focused on risk-based operations driven by intelligence information and intercepted 2,861 consignments on the customs side and made 594 visits to VAT registered suppliers in order to verify whether they were issuing tax invoices.  He said the interventions resulted in total revenue collection of K88.6 million especially from customs anti-smuggling operations.  Further, ZRA heightened its compliance enforcement activities in the betting and gaming industry through the block management system. Revenue from this sector has seen an upswing from K10.9 million in 2018 to K48.9 million in 2019. Mr. Chanda said in 2019, the Authority intensified efforts to ensure completeness and accuracy in returns and declarations filed by taxpayers, with particular emphasis on the mining sector.  He said after a detailed review of selected taxpayers’ VAT returns and import declarations, assessments of more than K10.4 billion were raised against erring taxpayers in the mining industry and K364.2 million was collected at the end of 2019.  Audits of all customs transactions of some mining companies spanning the period 2013 to 2017 were also done, resulting into assessments of K425.0 million which was collected.

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