By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
OFFICERS from the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) who have been ripping off taxpayers claiming Value Added Tax (Tax) have contributed to the loss of liquidity to the already struggling businesses, says Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) Deputy National Secretary, Rita Mkandawire.
Such unscrupulous officers should be brought to book.
VAT refunds are a point of survival for most businesses and ripping them off is contributing to their liquidity challenges, Ms Mkandawire said.
The Daily Nation last week uncovered a syndicate in which some ZRA officers had been ripping off taxpayers claiming VAT refunds by charging 15 percent of all refunds.
Commenting on the development, Ms Mkandawire in an interview said this was unacceptable and that it reduced liquidity for most businesses.
“Businesses are facing challenges, VAT refunds are due to them and for most businesses it is a point of survival so if you ask them to ask for a bribe for them to get their refund, you are trying to cripple their businesses.
“This reduces liquidity for most businesses and I would like to urge all public institutions to ensure that they bring culprits to book,” she said.
Ms Mkandawire regretted that the inefficiency in public institutions should be corrected and that Government should continue looking out for such culprits and ensure that they are brought to book
She indicated that what Happened at ZRA was very common in most Government institutions for several reasons.
“There is a lot corruption and this is unacceptable. The bureaucracy in Public institutions has created loopholes in corruption, what has happened at ZRA is nothing new, nothing strange but it is very unacceptable.