By HELEN ZULU –
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) exceeded its annual tax collection target of K37.622 billion for 2017 by more than K1.5 billion.
This was due to the favourable performance of the domestic Value Added Tax (VAT) among other reasons.
ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda said from January to December 2017, ZRA collected a total of K45, 868.2 million in gross revenues and refunded K6,718.5 million thereby recording a net revenue of K39,149.7 million.
That gave a surplus of K1,527 million.
Mr Chanda said key factors that contributed to the positive performance in 2017 was the implementation of the tax amnesty, debt swaps implemented for State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), withholding VAT by appointed agents and anti smuggling operations.
He said during a Press briefing in Lusaka on the ZRA performance in 2017 and outlook for 2018 yesterday that in terms of tax revenue to gross domestic product ratio, the 2017 outturn was 16.8 per cent compared to 14.4 per cent in 2016.
“We increased our gross domestic VAT collections by 61 per cent from K7,582.72 million in 2016 to K12,190.87 million in 2017,” Mr Chanda said.
He said the authority had set a target of K44,667.5 million for this year which was 18.7 per cent higher than the 2017 target.
Mr Chanda said the difference was composed of tax policy measures as pronounced by the Minister of Finance Felix Mutati in his 2018 budget address at K2,245.1 million and macroeconomic assumptions and efficiency gains together accounting for K4,800.0 million.
He said the authority was poised to increase compliance levels through the implementation of various initiatives including the rollout of electronic fiscal devices for all taxpayers registered for VAT this year.
Mr Chanda said to optimise revenue collection from the informal sector, ZRA would appoint tax agents for collection of Base Tax, Turnover Tax, Tax on Rental Income and presumptive tax on taxis and minibuses.
“Other initiatives include the establishment of a Customs Valuation Referencing Database which is intended to enhance the credibility of the valuation process and thereby enhance compliance,” he said.