This is the first time members of the Tax Appeals Tribunal have been sworn in as the previous members did not take Oath of Office.
Those sworn in are Dumisani Tembo, Enius Chulu, George Nonde, Glenda Mazakaza and Milangu Kampata.
The event took place at the High Court yesterday where justice Hamaundu reminded the members that their mandate was to resolve disputes between taxpayers and the revenue collector, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).
He said the members were required to “speedily, independently and professionally” resolve tax disputes arising from assessments of Income Tax, Customs and Excise Tax, Property Transfer Tax, Value Added Tax and under any other tax law.
“Being a quasi-judicial body, you are basically a ‘specialized court’ of first instance in tax disputes. Therefore, you are mandated to ensure that we have a just society where taxes are fairly assessed, willingly paid and disputes independently and impartially resolved within a short time, as we all know that Government operations largely depend on taxes,” justice Hamaundu said.
He said he hoped the newly sworn-in officers would soon decentralise their operations to other towns across the country.
Justice Hamaundu said this can be achieved in the short term by the Tribunal through circuit sittings “so that they are more accessible to all taxpayers who may not have easy means to come to Lusaka.
” It is further hoped that you do more sensitisation of your existence to the members of the public who still do not know of your existence. I encourage you to continue with any training programmes aimed at improving your skills so that the quality of your decisions can keep enhancing. There is no substitute for well-reasoned rulings, as good decisions inspire confidence in not only the taxpayer but also the Zambia Revenue Authority; and they will be more willing to come to the Tribunal for dispute resolution. This invariably translates into greater investor confidence and improved tax compliance in our Country,” said justice Hamaundu who added that he was aware of a Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 developed to reshape vision, mission, goal and value statements of the Tribunal in order to enhance their efficiency and achieve better results.