Letter to the Editor

State losing money through tax evasion

Dear editor,
IT IS not appropriate that Zambia Revenue Authority is losing colossal sums of money from tax evaders. It is mandatory that any entrepreneur conducting business in Zambia should remit tax to ZRA. Failure to do so is abrogation of the tax law. The Zambian government, like any other, has the responsibility of providing public goods to the people. These public goods include health, education, road network, clean and safe drinking water, to mention but a few. Zambians are entitled to these social amenities thereby making them lead decent lives. For the government to meet these obligations, there is need for financial resources. These resources have to be collected by the government through the ZRA, a statutory body incorporated by an Act of Parliament and mandated to collect revenue from individuals and corporate entities trading in the country. Despite the policy being in place requiring any enterprise in Zambia to pay tax to the government, most enterprises violate the law with impunity by evading tax. Some private and public entities evade paying tax to ZRA and, as a consequence, owe this quasi government institution huge sums of money. This is not to be the case. Evading tax is a serious offence and appropriate penalty should be meted out against these erring traders. In my frame of mind, I wonder if at all ZRA has inspectors. If the institution has the inspectors, it is high time it started inspecting business houses to ascertain whether they pay tax or not. If found wanting, the erring business entities should be brought to book. This should be done expeditiously because the government loses a lot of money through tax evasion.
ELEMIYA PHIRI
Lusaka

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