Some placards outside the closed Post Newspapers
Some placards outside the closed Post Newspapers

THE Tax Appeals Tribunal overstepped its jurisdiction and mandate when it overruled a Supreme Court judgment which ordered that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) should recover its tax debts owed by the Post Newspaper to the tax man.

ZRA has maintained that the Post Newspaper owed the authority millions of Kwacha in unpaid taxes and any appeal against its recovery had no effect on the demand notice or the warrant of distress currently in effect.

ZRA legal counsel Diana Goramoto said the Supreme Court, the highest court in the Zambia, already gave guidance on the recovery of tax assessments, which must be paid in accordance with the Income Tax Act provisions.

Ms Goramoto said in fact, the matter was prematurely before the Tax Appeals Tribunal because the Post did not exhaust the procedures outlined in the Income Tax Act that appeals should be based on a decision by the Commissioner General.

Ms Goramoto argued that there was no decision made by the Commissioner General which could have compelled the Post Newspaper to appeal at the Tax Appeals Tribunal.

“We wish to emphasise that in the current case there is no decision by the Commissioner General that would allow the appellant to be before this tribunal.

There is an amount and the appellant lodged a formal objection but there ought to be a decision by the Commissioner General which is not the case. The case is prematurely before this tribunal as the appellant rushed to the tribunal before the Commissioner General could make a decision,” she said.

Ms Goramoto said in accordance with the law, after tax assessment, the amount was due and payable once demand notice was served.

“The Supreme Court gave guidance that the Income Tax Act is very instructive, that the tax assessed becomes due when demand notice is served, in which case, the K53 million tax debts owed to ZRA was due on 15th June 2016.

“It was due and payable, notwithstanding any objection or an appeal, the assessed amount should be paid,” Ms Goramoto said.

This was at the Tax Appeals Tribunal interparty hearing yesterday over the Post Newspapers appeal against ZRA’s move to close the newspaper company’s offices and printing plant in a warrant of distress in an effort to recover K53 878 401.83 owed in unpaid taxes.

ZRA challenged the order of injunction issued by the Tribunal for the Post to take possession of locked up premises at Bwinjimfumu and the printing plant in the heavy industrial area following a warrant of distressed issued against the newspaper company.

She said the demand notice for the K53 878 401.83 was served on 15th June 2016 although there was formal objection lodged on 24th June 2016, before the commissioner general could hear and make a decision on the matter.

Earlier, Post Newspaper lawyers Nchima Nchito and Chisuwo Hamweela of Nchito and Nchito Associates explained that they had failed to comply with the order of injunction because ZRA made impossible for them.

Mr Nchito said despite directives by the Registrar of the Tax Appeals Tribunal Chola Shapi-Mutambo to comply with the order, ZRA continued to seize trucks belonging to the newspaper’s courier company.

For all we know, “trucks valued to the amount being claimed may have been seized. The respondent has also garnished the appellant’s bank accounts and we are not aware how much money has been seized through the process,” he said.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. You can try to restrict the amount of information we receive by shutting down the post but you can’t shut down the Internet and we will make sure those who do not have access to the Internet will know what is going on.

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    • Iwe chi spakalikelilo, you are a loser. Just shut up if your mind is closed to reality. You are deluded with a Masonist, let me tell you the mason is equally a loser.

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  2. The name Goramoto smells corruption and foolishness. If at all the nonsense she uttered at the Tribunal is anything to go by, why is ZRA only so hard on the Post and not on any other tax payer? The answer is clear to every Zambian who appreciates the truthfulness and newsworthiness that the Post gives the public while other media work with the corrupt to hide what they are. Some Zambians are so daft and blinded that they are supporting a clear crucification of the nation through heavy kaloba which will one day render Zambians worse than Zimbabwe.

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  3. This is not a tax issue at all. Is ZRA recovering the tax payable by keeping the Post closed? U cannot pay tax without operations and a cashflow. This case is not a legal issue either but a political issue. ZRA is being used by ECL to keep the Post closed and stop the paper from exposing Lungu’s Election Rigging manoeuvres. That is what its all about. Lungu can try and rig these elections but cannot rig our minds and hearts.We have already made up our minds and Lungu and PF must go. ZRA and Lungu can keep the Post closed but HH and UPND will win these elections. U cannot stop an idea whose day has arrived. Forward with HH,GBM and UPND.

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    • Would it become a tax issue for you if defaulters were jailed? Do not support illegality. This issue is not new. It has been there for years. Why is he not paying? He is not above the law, he should just pay or go to jail.

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    • This tax issue is not new. We needed a strong President to put mmeembe in his right place. He was deliberately avoiding paying taxes buy blackmailing Presidents like Sata and Levy. What President Lungu has done is extremely courageous and politically risky, but crime is crime and criminals should know that they cant continue stealing forever (Tax evasion is just stealing) and the Post have not denied the crime but keep trying crooked submission from one court to another. Who ever gets the taxes from the Post has my vote for life. Imagine the post called Chiluba a thief and they now want to play victim while owing a lot of millions in taxes. WHO NOW IS A THIEF. JUST PAY…..

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  4. Upnd people like their leader are desperate and have no morals who just support wrong doings for the sake of winning votes. Shame !!!

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  5. Mmembe just wants to delay the matter in the misguided hope that HH will win and write off the tax debt in return for his support in.the Post. And Mmembe us supported by a Nchito. Remember the Nchitos? One has been disgraced and humbled before the Tribunal and the other is still.loose. In fact both Nchitos and their cartel ally Mmembe are still in court over the K14billion owed to NACL, DBZ, and many others.

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