Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Economic and Financial Crimes Court hears how taxpayers allegedly evaded over K18 million

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Court which is currently sitting on the Copperbelt Province has yesterday found merit in the Zambia Revenue Authority’s claims that a Copperbelt businessman and his company stole a whooping K18 million from the national tax authority.

Oliver Nzala who is ZRA Corporate Communications Manager, through a statement to the media, confirmed that the Court had found Kitwe businessman Victor Mwansa and his company Santorini Investment Investments Limited with a case to answer and, consequently, put them on their defence in matter in which they are suspected of having engaged in crooked accounting practices and false claims to ZRA.

Mwansa is accused of having presented false invoices to ZRA showing that he had been supplied with items at tax inclusive prices. He then used the invoices to ask the ZRA to refund him and his company the taxes he allegedly paid which amounted to over K18 million.

Under the Value Added Tax Act of Zambia, suppliers are allowed to claim tax refunds from ZRA if they purchase items which include tax which they intend to supply to third parties such as mines. The VAT tax refunds are lucrative to criminal elements who falsify books to claim free money from the government through ZRA.

However, following the shockingly colossal domestic debt caused partly by huge tax refund claims, the government through its agencies such as ZRA has been reviewing some of the refund claims leading to the netting of Mwansa and his company.

According to court records, between September 2018 and September 2022 in Kitwe District, Mwansa and his company made 112 false returns and statements from which the government paid them amounts of K18,854,068.56 and interest amount of K3,325,240.47.

The next step in the case is for the accused to defend themselves after being found with a case to answer by the Court.

According to Nzala, a number of companies are being prosecuted on the Copperbelt on charges of tax evasion, and that the Authority would like to inform the Taxpayers that it will not relent in its quest to enhance tax compliance through prosecution of perpetrators of tax crimes.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I have never supported the VAT system because it’s a tax that enters through one window and leaves through another. This In & Out movement exposes the system to fraud. These tax refunds are facilitated with the help of ZRA employees and I’m certain that somebody will soon spill the beans. VAT has been the only underperforming division since inception, why can’t we abolish it? The only reason it’s being maintained is because it was a recommendation by some mzungu expert. Why keep it if it isn’t working for us?

  2. This is a straight theft and we don’t need a sitting to discuss it. The guy should have been arrested just like any other criminal. I call this Playing to the gallery.

    • @Spaka …do you really think at all? He’s committed a crime which is not even complicated to investigate so would people travel from Lusaka, burning fuel, getting allowances, spending nights in hotels instead of just arresting him? Party or not, he’s a criminal.

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