The Kabwe Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) says the recently enforced law on withholding tax is going to have a negative effect on a lot of people, especially tenants.

KCCI Honorary Secretary, Leonard Shimwambwa, said this is because despite it being an old law, it has not been strictly enforced in a long time.

Mr. Shimwambwa told ZANIS in an interview that there is therefore need for the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to create awareness amongst the general public because a many people do not understand why they need to pay tax for renting a house.

“This withholding tax is not really new. It has been there for a long time and it is law. But what it is, is that it has not been strictly enforced and very few people know about it, so there is need to explain to the general public what it is about and why they need to comply,” he said.

He also said the fact that it has been pronounced at a time when people are facing many economic challenges, ZRA must be cautious and gentle in the way it implements the tax.

He added that there is already a housing deficit in the country adding that since many people are living in rented houses, there is need to create a rapport and engage the general public in order to harmonise the matter.

“I think there was some bit of a problem in the manner the tax in itself was introduced to the general public. It is like people just woke up and they were told that they needed to pay such and such a tax. What ZRA should have done was to engage the general public strategically and minimise the tax because of the economic challenges currently at play in the country,’’ he explained.

Mr. Shimwambwa said the negative effect of this particular tax is that the landlords will exploit their tenants by increasing rentals and that this will seriously affect the tenants because the entire burden is on them.

However, ZRA Inspector of Taxes-Central Region, Lloyd Chilufya, said the authority was working cautiously to ensure that there is mutual understanding between the revenue authority and the general public.

Mr. Chilufya said ZRA has been going round the community explaining the same tax since it re-enforcement of the law.

He said there has been great response from both the tenants and the landlords so far.

“We have been carrying out some door-to-door sensitisations in the communities and because of that, we have seen a lot of landlords and tenants alike, coming to either register or pay their tax,’’ he explained.

And another officer from ZRA, Musonda Kalenga, who is the Regional Inspector of Taxes and Tax Payers Taxes, expressed surprise that a lot of people are thinking that the withholding tax law was a new tax enforcement when it has been in existence for a long time.

Mr. Kalenga said the withholding tax is an old Act of tax and that it should not even be politicised because it has always been there.

He said the only problem is that a lot of people have not complied despite knowing about its existence.

“This tax has always been there but deliberately and unfortunately, just like any tax, a lot of people have not been complying, not because they do not know about it but because they do not want to comply,” he said.

Mr. Kalenga complained that it is typical of most Zambians to avoid paying tax and that it has always been difficult to get them to pay because they always want to be forced.

He however said ZRA will work with the media to ensure that everyone is made aware of the withholding tax adding that necessary mechanisms are being put in place to ensure that everyone is well-informed.

He has since appealed to the general public to also take keen interest in visiting the revenue office to enquire on various issues regarding tax compliance.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Let us work together with ZRA and embrace the TAX Payment Culture.
    WHT requires more awareness programs as it affects most Zambian Households.
    While compliance is a MUST DO, ZRA has to work with sensitivity and gentle persuasive systems.
    One to three additional months to allow for the registration and compliance process is acceptable.
    ZRA must PUSH HARD and get this Domestic Tax Embraced among Zambians.
    NO GOING BACK but be sensitive and firm.
    BALANCE WITH RESULTS. Good luck and let us JUST DO IT.

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    • @ ZAMBIAN I don’t agree with you. TAX CULTURE Comes where the Government provide quality services to its citizens. ZRA and Zambian government Have ONE NUTS, Why should I pay tax on rentals yet the government has failed us? They have invested NOTHING and JUST want to eat?? This government is so lazy that they think the only way to raise revenue is taxes. Whoever proposed this is useless and out of touch with reality. Improve services first than choking Zambians. Even Boreholes are now taxable? Have you asked why people dig Boreholes?? Lazy and useless Governmen

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    • Welcome to the 21st century. For a country to prosper citizens have to participate. This is it. If you don’t like it, bye!

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  2. ZRA and Zambian government Have ONE NUTS, Why should I pay tax on rentals yet the government has failed us? They have invested NOTHING and JUST want to eat?? This government is so lazy that they think the only way to raise revenue is taxes. Whoever proposed this is useless and out of touch with reality. Improve services first than choking Zambians. Even Boreholes are now taxable? Have you asked why people dig Boreholes?? Lazy and useless Government.

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  3. Mfulumende please do you how it cost to build a house poor man like me. This days no employment and people they are depending rentals. This days cement is expensive. Ministers every thing government is doing every thing for you. So you don’t fill any impact God is watching you.

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  4. TOO MUCH TAXES.PAYE,WHT ETC.HOW CAN SOME SURVIVE.
    THEY WILL DEDUCT PAYE FROM MY SALARY AND I HAVE TO WHT AND OTHER TAXES.
    WHEN THE LAND LORD SAYS HE/SHE K 2,OOO NET ON HER HOUSE AS THE RENTAL INCOME,IT MEANS I HAVE TO PAY K200 EXTRA.

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  5. You were busy dancing dunnuna reverse and sontaring…….now you are scratching your heads even before repayments to the eurobonds kick in ?….wait and see.

    PF , a good tax to bring is a clean air tax for everyone with a nose. Maybe if a clean air tax is introduced people will respect the environment.

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  6. A country taxing it’s citizens to achieve development is no different from a person standing in a basket trying to lift oneself

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  7. @ spaka like Lilo, why is it difficult to understand that we all need to pay tax when it’s due. Nothing new here from ZRA

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  8. Bad to have such tax please government stop robbing Zambians we have no money in our pockets if u want money just do business using ur own salaries imwe ba Government officials

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  9. You promised us lower taxes and more money in our pockets.
    Aren’t we already being overtaxed?
    Income tax
    PAYE
    VAT
    Excercise duty
    Withholding tax
    Etc…..mufuna tikazidya chani? …because you’re indirectly grabbing everything from us.
    Give us some breathing space.

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    • TV levy
      Cement Tax
      Quarry dust tax (probably many people unaware; go to United Quarries!)
      National health insurance
      Borehole tax
      Toll gate fees
      Carbon emission tax
      Road tax
      ……

      My God.

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  10. If GRZ was collecting this tax to implement massive housing construction for low income citizens , to drain the kombonis, and address the housing shortage then yes, by all means , but we all know these taxes are only for PF consumption…

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  11. more money in your Pockets?
    i warned you when you were dancing in the streets when Chagwa claimed to have won the elections!

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  12. Lets also tax roadside vendors for use of public property,for clean up costs and for their untaxed income.

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  13. There’s nothing to understand. Yes paying for the use of roads is very easy to understand. I got my terminal benefits which were taxed. I decided not to put the money in the bank but opted to invest in houses so that my money would be much safer that way therefore I find it abnormal for someone to want a share of this property. I am paying property and land rates. ..which is cutting into my livelihood.

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  14. Zambian politicians are so lucky that people have so much patience waiting for 2021…what a country!! And what manner of politicians!!

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  15. it’s mind boggling. it’s economics 101. you don’t grow an economy by overtaxing the few people who are working and every means of earning. govt. is getting the little money that’s out there that can create a multiplier effect
    omg!!!. what a govt!. Makes my blood boil

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  16. Ita not a matter of how long a certain TAX has been in existence.
    The issue is the reasons as to why past governments did not enforce the same WHT on rentals.
    The reasons are simple to see, what’s the minimum salary in Zambia. After so many things are deducted from the same peanut salary how much is remaining.
    PF government are behaving like the Romans in the Bible. They fail to tax mines but find it easy to tax the poor citizens.
    PF reduce your salaries so that we can see if truly you are servants of the people.
    The government is too small for the economy no wonder we are always borrowing to fill up budgetary deficits.

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  17. Cancelling one foreign trip is enough to carter for the intended monies ZRA wants to milk the citizens.

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  18. Your PF mafia are having a good time drinking duty free beer at Parliament motel. Tax free allowances for government officials. Free housing for ministers, what are rest having? Sh!t. Real sh!t.

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