Zambian Govt urged to consider double taxation in 2015 budget

ZRA commissioner General Berlin Msiska
ZRA commissioner General Berlin Msiska

Zambia Tax Platform (ZTP) a consortium of Civil Society Organizations has proposed that government considers double taxation treaties in the 2015 National Budget to enable the country secure a more favorable share of revenue generated.
And Zambia Tax Platform has echoed calls for the newly appointed Justice Minister Edgar Lungu to show political will and speed up the constitution making process.

Speaking during a media luncheon in Lusaka today, Action Aid Head of Economic Justice Program, Patrick Nshindano says there is also need to enhance the capacity for the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) which is grappling with taxing the informal sector.

Mr. Nshindano notes that at the moment, corporate tax rates are sector-based and differ across sectors and thus the need to unify the rates towards 30 percent to arrest revenue leakage through tax planning.

He says some companies have taken advantage of the different tax bands by shifting costs from one activity sector to the next.

Mr Nshindano says the Zambia Tax Platform has also proposed the introduction of 15 percent withholding tax on dividends paid by mining companies holding larger scale mining licenses and mining of base metals.

And speaking during a presentation on tax and non tax proposals submitted to the Ministry of Finance for consideration in the 2015 budget, Center for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) Tax Justice Programme officer Obrey Michelo says the ZTP has also proposed to government to scale up the School Feeding Program which will improve the literacy levels in the country.

Mr. Michelo says the move will also help enable a basis for which to grow the subsistence farmer to graduate to a small scale farmer as there will be a ready market.

And responding to a question on the possibility of government buying the proposals by CSOs, Zambia Tax Platform Member Father Leonard Chiti says government has been implementing most of the things they propose.

Father Chiti, who is also Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR) Director, says tax revenue is critical to any country’s growth since it is a reliable tool to fight poverty.
( Tuesday 02nd September 2014 )