THE Post Newspapers Limited has obtained a stay halting the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) from seizing its property following the commission’s refusal of a proposal by the newspaper to pay its tax liabilities of more than K26 million in six installments.
High Court Judge-in-Charge Isaac Chali granted the newspaper leave to commence judicial review against ZRA’s decision to disallow it to pay the tax liabilities in six installments and the stay would stop the commission’s decision to seize the newspaper’s property.
Mr Justice Chali granted the newspaper permission to start judicial review against ZRA’s decision to refuse its offer to pay tax liabilities of K26,856.230.91 inclusive of penalties.
Mr Justice Chali said when he granted the request ex-parte that the same would operate as a stay against ZRA’s purported decision to seize goods from The Post as the company was operating in apprehension of the goods by which it generates income being seized.
According to the notice of application for leave to apply for judicial review filed by Post Newspaper Limited’s lawyers from Messers Nchito and Nchito, the newspaper is challenging the decision of ZRA Commissioner General Berlin Msiska to refuse its proposal to pay tax liabilities in installments.
It stated that on September 9, 2014 ZRA’s commissioner – domestic taxes – wrote to it advising it that its tax liabilities were at K26,856, 230.91 inclusive of penalties and invited the newspaper’s representatives to a meeting on September 11, 2014 to discuss the settling of the liabilities.
The paper said at the meeting, the commissioner asked its representatives to make a proposal on how its liabilities would be dealt with and the newspaper proposed that it pays the principle amount owed in six monthly installments of K2,000,000 payable at the end of the month effective September 30, 2014.
It further proposed that the balance of K1,758,180.20 be paid in the seventh month on March 30, 2015 and that it would then make payments towards the penalty charges in four equal monthly installments of K1, 957,635.05 effective April 30, 2015 and finally pays interest of K929,231.63 on August 31, 2015.
The newspaper said that instead of the commissioner – domestic taxes writing back, it was Dr Msiska who wrote back on September 19, 2014 refusing its proposal despite it having been asked for by ZRA.
Another meeting was held on September 22, 2014 where the newspaper proposed that its entire circulation income of K4,000,000 per month be paid to ZRA by creation of an Escrow account to which ZRA would be the sole signatory into which The Post’s circulation income would be paid and that it stay current with its liabilities but Mr Msiska still refused.
Times of Zambia