Friday, March 25, 2011

ZRA losing 10% income through tax evasion

ZRA losing 10% income through tax evasion
By Ndinawe Simpelwe
Fri 25 Mar. 2011, 03:59 CAT

ZAMBIA Revenue Authority (ZRA) Commissioner General Wisdom Nhekairo says the authority is losing about 10 per cent of its targeted revenues through tax evasion and smuggling.

In an interview, Nhekairo said the biggest challenge was to verify if big corporations were paying the correct amounts of tax.

“It is a challenge to verify the returns of big taxpayers. They have to be verified through audits but it is not easy. Other than that, we are faced with other challenges such as smuggling, corruption, low staffing and inadequate equipment. There are also low levels of tax compliance among stakeholders,” Nhekairo said.

He said there was need to put systems in place that would ensure that tax was not evaded in any way.

“We are partnering with other stakeholders to educate people on the importance of paying tax. Everyone has to know the consequences of evading tax because it affects all of us. We hope that after carrying out education campaigns, tax evasion would be reduced because it is almost impossible to stop it,” he said.

Nhekairo said the market was becoming more specialised and the authority would not rally behind.

He said there was need to upgrade ZRA's systems to keep up with and understand the market.

And Nhekairo has said ZRA was optimistic to meet its K16 trillion annual target in tax collections.

“We need to bring in all the people to pay tax. We hope to capture everyone especially the small and medium taxpayers,” said Nhekairo.

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