ZRA pays K2.6bn VAT refunds to mines

ZRA pays K2.6bn VAT refunds to mines
ZAMBIA Revenue Authority (ZRA) has paid out K2.6 billion in value added tax (VAT) refund to mining companies out of the total of K5 billion owed.
ZRA commissioner general Kingsley Chanda said at a press briefing that the authority has been paying out arrears alongside current VAT refunds to mining companies that have provided the necessary documentation.
“We have been liquidating the arrears as long as the mining companies come with documents that show proof of exports. Only K2.4 billion has not been paid back due to lack of documentation and we have written to mining companies giving them a deadline to submit the documentation,” Mr Chanda said.
He explained that VAT rule 18 required mining companies to obtain documents from the customs office in the country the copper is being exported to, but the commodity usually ends up in other countries due to the complexity of metal exports and numerous middlemen handling the exports, a move that has resulted in some companies failing to obtain documentation.
However, Mr Chanda said ZRA has not been able to pay out all the arrears due to cash flow limitations and is expected to enter into an agreement with mining companies to liquidate the arrears over time provided the firms submit the necessary documentation.
“This is money withheld since 2014, so to pay it out at once in 2016 is a bit of a challenge to the Government and ZRA, but the commitment is there to ensure that we liquidate it,” he said.

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