President Rupiah Banda has said he will not condone tax evasion and corruption in Zambia Revenue Authority’s (ZRA) process of revenue collection because the two vices would retard economic development of the country.
President Banda said corruption in the process of tax collection would compromise the integrity of the revenue authority.
He said tax evasion and corruption were detrimental to the development of the country hence must not be tolerated at all levels.
President Banda said this in a speech read for him by Minister of Commerce, Felix Mutati at the second ZRA Taxpayer Appreciation Day held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre today.
The theme for this year’s appreciation day is “Recognising and Encouraging Voluntary Compliance in Revenue Collection”.
The President further said the Zambia Revenue Authority has been strong, transparent and competent in the administration of taxation in the last 16 years it has been in existence.
He said the authority has grown from collecting only a small percentage of the national budget to over 70 per cent now.
He said this means that Zambia%u2019s annual budget was largely financed from domestically collected resources.
Mr. Banda further lauded the ZRA for launching a medium and small scale taxpayers’ office saying this category of taxpayers could contribute significantly to the development of the country.
He however challenged the revenue authority to continue operating in a transparent manner while minimizing wastage in the process of collecting revenue of the country.
And speaking earlier, ZRA Commissioner General, Chriticles Mwansa said the authority would continue to provide an attractive tax environment that would enable taxpayers to voluntarily meet their tax obligations.
Mr. Mwansa said ZRA would streamline its operations through among other measures, simplifying systems used in revenue collection and in compelling taxpayers to pay tax.
He also officially launched the medium and small scale taxpayers’ office which is at Revenue House in Lusaka and in selected parts of the country.
He said medium and small scale enterprises played a pivotal role in the development of any economy because this category employed more people than the large scale enterprises.
Mr. Mwansa also pledged that ZRA would continue to fight any corrupt practices that might compromise the integrity of the revenue authority.
And the ZRA has signed an agreement with Access Bank to allow taxpayers pay their tax through the bank by electronic payment (e-payment).
The ZRA has rewarded a number of tax payers for their compliance in paying tax.
Among them are BP-Zambia Limited, Kansanshi Mine PLC, Zambian Breweries, Trade Kings Limited, Lamasat International Limited and Toyota Zambia among many others.
The Taxpayers’ Appreciation Day also attracted revenue collection institutions from Rwanda , Kenya , Tanzania , Malawi , Namibia and Swaziland .