By Buumba Chimbulu
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has far collected K4.8 billion from Time to Pay Agreements which are as a result of the tax amnesty on interest and penalties launched in April this year meant to assist taxpayers clean their tax books.
Between April 24th and August 31st , 2017, taxpayers were given a chance to clean their tax books through the amnesty exercise but while others were unable to pay the full amount during that period, they signed Time to Pay Agreements with ZRA which allowed them to go up to June 30th 2018 in making payments.
ZRA commissioner-general, Kingsley Chanda, said they expect to collect around K5 billion to K6 billion from the exercise by June 30th 2018.
“We have K4.8 billion and the payments continue coming through and our last payments are expected by 30th June 2018. So we are hoping that at the end of the entire exercise we should be around K5 to K6 billion collected from amnesty exercise,
“The exercise has been excellent, that is money we would not have collected if we did not do the amnesty so it has been extremely successful to an extent where other revenue authorities in the region would want to come and learn from us,” he said.
Mr. Chanda explained in an interview that apart from collecting the debts and reducing the debt stock, the exercise had brought about tax voluntary compliance from taxpayers.
Mr. Chanda also disclosed that ZRA had as of last month registered 14, 800 Taxpayers Identification Numbers (TPIN).
This follows a requirement introduced by Government in the 2017 national budget that all bank account holders should have TPINs by December 31st, 2017.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chanda said ZRA would by the end of this month roll out 2, 000 Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) in Lusaka which would enable them to monitor transactions on real time.
“So the idea is at the end of the month, when the taxpayers are required to put in returns and make their tax payments, there will be no disputes, we are rolling out these devices by the end of this month,
“We have already started testing, the equipment is in and we’ll start with the first 2, 000. Our plan is to fiscalise the whole country by the first quarter of 2018 and we expect to see additional revenue collection from that exercise,” Mr. Chanda said.