Country Director Nalucha Zimba said she expected government to close in on multinationals that were guilty of tax evasion.
“As we draw close towards the presentation of the 2020 budget, we would like to see measures aimed at addressing the current suffering of the Zambia people. To mitigate against the financial challenges that the country is facing, it is important that more revenue is collected in a fair and transparent manner,” Zimba said.
“While we acknowledge the need to collect more revenues, however we are alive to the reality of tax collection limitations on account of a struggling economy. However, we expect more tax collection measures to be more pounced in the budget.”
She urged government to ensure that State Owned Enterprises were made more profitable.
Zimba said that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) should be enhanced to ensure that tax evasion is curtailed.
“The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) 2018 Trends Report, highlighted suspicious financial transactions covering tax evasion. For instance, FIC 2018 Trends Report observed that some companies overstated their expenditure, and this reduced their profits and hence their tax obligations. Additionally, it was observed that some companies externalized funds to their parent companies. The same companies would then receive the funds in the form of loans,” she said.
“This reduced their tax liability as interest on the loans is a deductible expense. We hope to see more measures /pronouncements towards enhancing the capacity of ZRA to enforce tax obligations in order to address tax evasion.”
She added: “In addressing the high cost of living, we hope to see the increase in the tax-free threshold from the current K3, 300.00 to about K 4,000.00. This will cushion against the high price of essential basic items and ensure that that majority of lowly paid workers strive to meet the high cost of living.”