ZRA APPOINTS COUNCILS AS TAX AGENTS

The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has signed memoranda of understanding with local government authorities for the collection of tax.

33 Local Government Authorities signed the contracts to act as tax agents on behalf of the Zambia Revenue Authority to collect taxes within their jurisdiction and earn a 10% commission.

ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda stressed that the local authorities are strategic partners in improving tax compliance because they have administrative structures countrywide.

Speaking during the signing ceremony held in Lusaka today, Mr. Chanda said the Local Authorities, as tax agents will collect taxes in the informal sector dealing with tax on rental income, base tax and turnover tax in markets and bus stations only.

Mr. Chanda added that to ensure the partnership is successful, ZRA will offer training and orientation to all local government employees who will be involved in tax collection in addition to other Modalities related to tax collection.

And Ministry of Local Government Acting Permanent Secretary Lennox Kalonde said the Local Authorities will be required to capture a lot of people in the informal sector and that they will have to do so without fail.

Mr. Kalonde said the additional revenue through the commissions will help alleviate financial challenges that the councils maybe facing.

He stressed that need to observe financial management of taxes to be collected adding and that the partnership would benefit the nation.

Also speaking at the event, Local Government Service Commission Chairperson Amos Musonda challenged the councils to change the narrative from financial mismanagement which has been associated with the local Authorities.

Mr. Musonda he emphasised that all the councils had the capacity to manage tax collection task and urged the Local Government Officials to be professional, above board and prudent in executing their duties.

He further called for monitoring and evaluation to be a key component of the partnership and called for bi-annual performance reviews to ensure realisation of the MoU objectives.

Mr. Musonda said there is need for constant monitoring and evaluation to ensure objectives of the MoU are fully realised.

With the purpose of increasing tax compliance, ZRA is set to sign MoUs with the remaining councils soon.