ZRA's tax collection increases, easing Zambia's debt pressure

The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has collected 26 percent more tax in the first half of this year compared with the same period a year ago, easing some pressure on the financially-strained government.

ZRA collected ZMK23.2 billion (US$2.4 billion) in the first half of the year, 6.4 percent above its target, boosted by value added tax revenue, the ZRA commissioner-general Kingsley Chanda said.

Government delayed all planned borrowing indefinitely after its debt pile rose to US$9.3 billion at the end of March, up from US$8.7 billion at the end of 2017.

The refunds did not include a disputed ZMK4.1 billion related to a rule requiring mining companies to provide proof that metal exports had reached the declared destination, it said.

Zambia has been withholding some money owed to mining companies in tax refunds because the correct documentation has not been provided.

Assessments totaling ZMK16.7 billion had been issued against some of the major claimants and taxpayers in the mining sector, ZRA said.

Mining companies hoped an amicable solution would soon be reached with the revenue authority, Zambia Chamber of Mines chief executive officer Sokwani Chilembo said.

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