‘Tax system reforms vital’

Bernadette Deka.

GOVERNMENT has been urged to continue reforming the tax system to make it simpler to increase tax morale in the country, the Policy and Monitoring Research Centre (PMRC) has said.
Tax morale relates to people’s perception and attitude towards tax which, in turn, influences their behaviour in relation to remittance of customs.
PMRC executive director Bernadette Deka, in response to a press query on Wednesday, said there is need for intensive tax sensitisation campaigns to build greater awareness on the importance of paying taxes.
“Efforts to inculcate a strong commitment and positive perception on paying tax should, for instance, be undertaken from an early stage in the education system so that Zambians begin to form ideas of undertaking pride.
“Government needs to analyse the taxes morale of each taxpayer and potential taxpayer category to gain deeper insight into Zambian perceptions of tax payments and better target strategies for enhanced tax morale in the country,” Ms Deka said.
She said a low tax morale in a country has a negative impact on Government’s revenue mobilisation, hence the need to build on high tax morale to mobilise revenue for Government.
Ms Deka said a low tax morel can be caused by the fairness or relationship between government and the taxpayer among others.
“If people believe that taxes are too high hence unfair or that the tax system is unduly complicated, the likelihood is that they would feel a moral justification not to remit tax. [On the other hand] when the citizens trust their government to use their contribution appositely, they are likely to show a higher tax morale and compliance rate,” she said.

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