The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has said that the law on gaming and betting being taxed at 20 percent of winnings is not new.
ZRA Corporate Communication Manager Topsy Sikalinda said that the Authority has noted with concern misleading statements related to taxes on gaming and betting sub-sector of our economy.
Mr. Sikalinda said that the facts are that taxes on gaming and betting have been in existence since January 2014, adding that the last amendment was done in 2020 September by the then, Minister of Finance on the floor of parliament as he presented the budget for the subsequent year.
Mr. Sikalinda said that taxes are paid at the rate of 20 percent of free money won and not on the total investment (a bet placed).
He said that the taxation of Gaming and Betting is contained in section sixty-four A of the Income Tax Act and the Income Tax (Betting and Gaming) (Presumptive Tax) Regulations of 2018.
The taxation of Gaming and Betting debate has been raging on social media and in a lot of circles.
However, Green Party President Peter Sinkamba said that his party is extremely disheartened that the UPND Government has decided to indiscriminately impose a 20% withholding tax on any amount that won through betting, without regard to budgetary and constitutional imperatives.
In a statement released to the media, said that all taxes in a given financial year must be approved by Parliament, adding that with respect to the 2021 Financial Year, Parliament directed that no revenue amounting up to K4 000 should be subjected to any direct tax (see page 25 of the Budget Speech 2021).
Mr Sinkamba said that the measure was taken by the previous Government to increase the disposal income of Zambians and as the Green Party, he would therefore demand that the indiscriminate measure the Government has taken to levy withholding tax should be withdrawn henceforth until the new Government put in place a mechanism that ensures that only persons who cumulatively or singly win above K4,000 in a given month are subjected to the withholding tax.
“If your Government will levy the withholding tax contrary to threshold approved by Parliament, then you will be contravening Article 199 of the Constitution of Zambia Amendment 2016 and thereby committing an illegality
“We remind you that you were elected on the ticket of rule of law and constitutionalism. It is too early for you to forget the election platform.
In this regard, we demand that you refund all persons that have been levied contrary to the Constitution and directives of Parliament,’ concluded the statement.