The Zambia Revenue Authority says it collected a total of K45, 868.2 million in gross revenue and refunded K6, 718.5 million thereby recording net revenue of K39, 149.7 which was 4.1 percent of the annual target.
In terms of tax revenue to GDP ratio, the 2017 out turn was 16.8 percent compared to 14.4 percent in 2016.
Having set the target for 2018 at 16.2 percent, the authority says it is poised to increase tax compliance among taxpayers through various initiatives.
Speaking during a briefing at Radisson Blu on Thursday 11th January, ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda noted that the implementation of initiatives to increase tax compliance also comes amidst calls to broaden the tax base.
“Broadening of the tax base has been a topical subject in our country for some time now. As a response, and in order to optimise 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.” Mr. Chanda said.
He further said despite the increase in revenue collection, the authority observed that the levels of tax compliance are still low. This was evident after seeing the increase in revenue collection after measures to increase compliance were introduced.
Last year, ZRA implemented measures to increase its revenue collection. Of the 13 measures implemented, 6 notable ones are as follows;
- Implementation of the Amnesty on interest and penalties and aggressive Debt Enforcement Activities through which it collected K4, 097.90 million with an additional K650 million expected before June this year.
- Debt swaps implemented for State Owned Enterprises (SEOs) with huge liabilities.
- Implementation of Withholding of VAT by Appointed Tax Agents said to have grown from K96.52 million to K5, 630.87 million in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
- Anti-Smuggling Operations including investigations aimed at improving compliance to avoid tax evasion and avoidance.
- Roll out and stabilisation of e-services.
- Tax Payers Identification Numbers (TPIN) registration which grew from 17, 717 in 2016 to 269, 817 TPINs in 2017.
As a way to ensure business houses are more complaint with paying Turnover tax, ZRA says it will start reviewing companies on Turnover tax.
“Another compliance initiative will be to review the companies on Turnover tax with a view to single out companies whose turnovers are above the statutory limit Eight Hundred Thousand Kwacha per annum. All firms currently on turnover tax who will be found to be above the statutory limit will be mandatorily registered for VAT and charged appropriate penalties for failure to register for VAT,” Mr. Chanded added.
With the increase in measures to collect tax the authority is expected to increase its contributions to GDP.