Monday, April 28, 2014

Govt won't allow sale of tax exempt goods - Yamba
By By Kabanda Chulu
Wed 01 Jan. 2014, 14:00 CAT

THE government will not allow tax exempted imported goods, including motor vehicles, to be sold without following guidelines and approval from the Zambia Revenue Authority, says Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba.

Following the coming into force of Statutory Instrument No 103 of 2013, all motor vehicles and spare parts imported by non-profit making organisations, including the Church, will no longer qualify for tax exemption.

Among other goods which would no longer qualify for tax exemption under the Public Benefit Organisation Scheme include wines and some other liquor or alcoholic beverages, electrical household goods, tobacco products, goods whose value is equivalent to a travellers allowance remission under Statutory Instrument Number 54 of 2000, Customs and Excise General Regulations, of 2000, and Firearms.

Goods on which Public Benefit Organisations will still enjoy exemptions are sacramental wine when imported by a religious order or church, beds, mattresses, linen and kitchen equipment.

Commenting on the matter, Yamba said the government was concerned that some Public Benefit Organisations had entrenched the practice of changing the terms of importation, purpose of usage and in some cases, selling tax exempt imported goods without the approval of the Commissioner General of the Zambia Revenue Authority.

"Under this piece of legislation, any organisation which violates the provisions under which existing tax exemption incentives have been granted shall face sanctions, including revocation of the approval and will be liable to pay requisite taxes on the goods imported under the scheme at the rate leviable at the time of the initial importation of such goods," said Yamba.

During the presentation of the 2014 National Budget to Parliament on October 11, 2013, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda announced that the government had undertaken a review of tax incentive regimes in order to rationalise tax incentives as part of the tax reform process.

"To this effect, the Customs and Excise (Public Benefit Organisations) (Rebate, Refund or Remission) Regulations, Statutory Instrument No. 7 of 2009 was reviewed, to streamline exemptions provided to Public Benefit Organisations. In addition, the ministry also reviewed the administrative processes in order to provide efficient and timely delivery of services," said Chikwanda.

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