By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
IT is incumbent upon accountants and every professional to ensure that taxpayers meet their tax obligations in a timely manner to support the treasury to meet in its fiscal responsibilities.
As people at the front line of tax collection, accountants must be supportive of the tax collection system and ensure compliance with tax legislation by employers and clients.
This is according to the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accounts (ZiCA) president, Cecilia Zimba.
Ms Zimba acknowledged that the Zambia’s economy had in the past six year been characterised by energy deficits, high inflation, financial volatility, job cuts and other economic hardships.
The situation, she said, had been worsened by Covid-19.
She said this during virtual tax updates workshop held this month.
The ZiCA president added that the factors would no doubt impact adversely on businesses’ ability to generate profits and contribute to the national treasury.
Ms Zimba stressed that this would ultimately weigh down on the country’s ability to collect tax revenue from internally generated resources.
“Unfortunately, the state of affairs comes at the time when the country needs resources to meet the costs of debt repayment and cost of general elections.
“As people at the front line of tax collection, Accountants must be supportive of the tax collection system and ensure compliance with tax legislation by your employers and clients,” she said.
Ms Zimba also said ZICA had started engaging the Government, through the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to see how best tax changes announced in the 2021 national budget could be implemented smoothly.
She said ZICA was confident that through these engagements, an amicable solution that would benefit the country at large would be reached in the near future.
“In the 2021 Budget, the Minister of Finance discussed some important tax changes which have generated negative feedback from our members and the business community at large. These include the following;
“Requirement by all statutory bodies created by an Act of Parliament to request for a Tax Clearance Certificate from members and Practitioners upon payment of their membership or practice fees for 2021,” Ms Zimba said.
Meanwhile, Ms Zimba commend the Government for taking a bold decision to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA).
She said the ratification of the agreement would enable the country to have access to a larger market and to harmonise trade instruments across the continent’s regional economic communities.
“This development, also has the potential to generate a range of benefits through supporting trade creation, structural transformation, productive employment and poverty reduction,” Ms Zimba said.