By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
GOVERNMENT should relax penalties for non-compliance on tax returns for the next two months as most companies will be unable to meet their statutory deadlines, says Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM).
ZAM vice president for South, Chipego Zulu, lobbied Government to provide a two months grace period for submissions of tax returns by companies.
“We propose the relaxation of compliance with statutory deadlines for next two months. That is to provide grace period to enable compliance.
“This is arising from penalties due to companies being unable to meet statutory deadlines for submissions of tax returns,” Ms Zulu said in an interview.
Value Added Tax is due on the 18, withholding tax on 14, PAYE/NAPSA on 10, income Tax on 21 and excise duty on15 of every month.
Ms Zulu also suggested that Government should ensure that the Zambia Revenue Authority did not implement arbitrary taxes, insisting that consultation was cardinal.
She said major regulatory changes should be subjected to Regulatory Impact Assessments before enactment.
“Arising from slowdown in economy and the Government’s existing target to increase revenue collection amounting to approximately a fifth of the GDP from domestic revenue resource mobilization, this will send our economy into a further, downward spiral,” Ms Zulu said.
Meanwhile, Ms Zulu said Government should maintain open borders for shipment of cargo while limiting movement of people across borders to essential movement.
Ms Zulu explained that supply of inputs was critical to industry continuity with local firms unable to produce, Ms Zulu explained, the likelihood of firm closures and/or industry collapsing in the wake of the Pandemic became more imminent.
She suggested that Government should strengthen enhance border measures for screening/detection of the coronavirus.
“Arising from factory closures domestically and regionally – thereby affecting the ability to source critical inputs. This will have effects on employment levels and negative impacts on the government treasury,” Ms Zulu said.
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU