COVID-19 Tax Relief Measures are rewarding non-compliant taxpayers-Sean Tembo

Opposition PeP leader Sean Tembo
Opposition PeP leader Sean Tembo

Patriots for Economic Progress Leader Sean Tembo has noted with sadness that the COVID-19 tax relief measures that have been implemented by the Zambia Revenue Authority as instructed by the Minister of Finance last week are rewarding non-compliant taxpayers while at the same time offering no reward to compliant taxpayers.

Mr Tembo notes that the measures which consist of waivers for penalties and interest upon meeting certain conditions are concentrated on non compliant businesses at the expense of compliant ones.

He said the purpose and primary objective of a tax authority such as ZRA is to maximize tax collection by encouraging compliance among taxpayers therefore, any kind of promotion which the Zambia Revenue Authority runs must be designed to encourage tax compliance by rewarding compliant taxpayers and punishing non-compliant taxpayers.

Mr Tembo has however noted that in this particular instance, the Zambia Revenue Authority is doing the exact opposite by rewarding non-compliant taxpayers through waivers of penalties and interest while offering no reward whatsoever to those taxpayers that have been faithfully compliant over the years.

We would have been happy if ZRA had designed a package to reward compliant taxpayers as part of its COVID-19 relief package. This is important because for as long as ZRA only rewards bad behavior, the compliant taxpayers are likely to feel neglected and unappreciated, which has the potential to undermine future tax collections by the Authority”, he said.

Mr Tembo has since appealed to both the Zambia Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance to apply adequate thought in formulating economic intervention policies, so that such policies do not undermine the future performance of key institutions, as the case is in this matter.

He has added that sound Government policies can only be formulated through adequate consultation and input of key stakeholders, and not by a few elites, to the exclusion of the governed.


  1. Experts in trying to find anything negative and yet will never give a single solution. It is like IT consultants who create a problem out of nothing to generate income. And these are people who want to run this country? I mourn for my country God forbid if such losers became president.

  2. The problem is that we have ZRA CEO who is a PF cadre and most PF members run businesses are non compliant, this issue explains itself. You don’t need to be an expert to understand this simple logic here. Nkani izibika!

  3. It’s not only ZRA, the first time I differed with Zesco was on the Bill Master promotion in which they were encouraging people to pay half and get half written off. Several water utilities ran similar promotions, but I know Nkana Water later gave incentives to compliant clients after I confronted them. I agree with Sean, but the reality is that these institutons don’t have many critical thinkers. ZRA is the playing ground for bena Chanda Nyela and other Chinsali boys so you can’t expect much from them

  4. I agree with Sean. The ZRA needed to profile its client and establish those that have been compliant but are now finding it challenging to meet their tax obligations in this current situation. For instance, we have companies that pay monthly PAYE and yet the ZRA owes them VAT refunds which have been verified through the credibility audits. Why not allow an offset against the arising monthly tax obligations?

  5. That’s PF for you. Covid has given them an opportunity to wash their dirty laundry. This is the worst bunch of crooks in Zambias history.

  6. Aren’t the Zambian workers not supposed to have the P.A.Y.E.reduced as well ? I know it can’t completely be waived like it’s been done for businesses. At the end of the day the citizenry are the customers for the goods of the business community whose taxes have been waived. When pay as you earn has been reduced to some reasonable level would actually balance the business equation. It can’t just be on one side during this harder times of covid19.

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