Mines get over K3 billion refund

THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has paid out over K4 billion in value added tax (VAT) refunds to mines and other sectors in the last six months.
Meanwhile, the authority has in the first 100 days of the amnesty programme collected over K700 million.

ZRA commissioner-general Kingsley Chanda said out of the K4.1 billion that has been refunded, K329 million relates to long outstanding VAT Rule 18 refund arrears, while K3.7 billion relates to the current period.

Mr Chanda said of the total amount refunded, 76 percent was made to mining companies, while the remainder was made to other sectors of the economy.
“I wish to inform the nation that our vigilant audit teams discovered some fraudulent refund claims. This discovery prompted us to take a more cautious approach when paying refunds,” he said.
Mr Chanda said all tax-payers who could have been refunded on fake documents are earmarked for a forensic audit to be launched soon.
“I must emphasise, however, that VAT Rule 18 withheld refunds in 2013/14. We shall not refund without full documentation as was required by law at the time. I further wish to inform tax-payers that we intend to propose to cap the period in which this process will be allowed seeing that it has been five years now, and exporters have failed to produce authentic documents,” he said.
On the amnesty, Mr Chanda said ZRA received a total of 848,788 tax amnesty applications out of which 617,435 cases have so far been processed and approached for waiver, while 96,107 requests have been rejected for not meeting the amnesty conditions.
In April this year, the authority launched the tax amnesty, which was expected to run until July 31, 2017. However, the deadline was extended by 30 days to enable clients to offset their outstanding tax obligations.
He said ZRA collected K1.9 billion from the tax debt, of which K719.22 million is directly attributed to tax amnesty, and has been largely paid by micro, small and medium enterprise.
“The total revenue collected on account of the amnesty as at July 31, 2017 was K719.22 million, with income tax and VAT accounting for 76 percent of the amount received.
“We expect additional revenue from over 2,000 time to pay agreement (TPAs) that have so far been signed by various tax-payers worth K2,549.19 million, of which K934.11 million is expected to be fully settled by December 31, 2017,” Mr Chanda said.
He also said ZRA is willing to extend the period for TPAs to July 31, 2018 to enable more clients to liquidate their debt.


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