The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has paid out a total of K9.4 billion in VAT refunds in the 2018 financial year, with the mining sector having received at least 78 per cent of that amount.
And the ZRA have disclosed that the mining sector’s contribution in terms of tax revenues and mineral royalties equated to 13 per cent of the total revenue collection or less than three per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Meanwhile, the Authority has so far issued a total of 805,754 Tax Payer Identification Numbers (TPINs) between January, 2017, and December, 2018.
Speaking during a press briefing in Lusaka, Friday, ZRA Commissioner-General Kingsley Chanda disclosed that the Authority refunded a total of K9.4 billion in VAT refunds last year, with the mining sector having received 78 per cent of that total, translating to around K7.3 billion.
“We managed to pay out K9.4 billion in VAT refunds. Out of this amount, 78 per cent was paid to the mining sector while 22 per cent was paid to other sectors in the economy. I am confident that going forward, the outstanding VAT refunds will be a thing of the past once the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is implemented later this year,” Chanda told journalists at Pamodzi Hotel.
On what the ZRA still owed mining companies, Chanda still could not, however, disclose the outstanding arrears owed in VAT refunds.
“…Unlike some mining companies who are issuing public statements on how much ZRA allegedly owes, we will continue to respect taxpayer confidentiality. Suffice to say that the assessments have been communicated to individual mining companies and the tax will be collected without fail. ZRA will use all legal options available to ensure that mining companies account for these taxes without fear or favour. It’s only fair and right,” he insisted.
And Chanda revealed that the mining sector’s contribution in terms of tax revenues and mineral royalties equated to 13 per cent of the total revenue collection or less than three per cent of GDP.
“In 2018, the direct contribution of the mining sector in tax revenues and royalties stood at 2.3 per cent of GDP or 13 per cent of total revenues collected by ZRA. I wish to inform the public that as at end of December, 2018, the Authority had concluded the audits and assessments had been raised following the reconciliations done with the mines and their clearing agents,” Chanda added.
Meanwhile, Chanda announced that the Authority had so far issued a total of 805,754 Tax Payer Identification Numbers (TPINs) between January, 2017, and December, 2018.
“I am further pleased to note that the Authority has from January, 2017, to December, 2018, issued a total of 805,754 TPINs. The TPINs are a mandatory requirement for transactions with Zesco, Ministry of Lands, RTSA and financial institutions. The banks have given us feedback that we are currently at 61 per cent compliance hence I wish to officially announce the extension of TPIN registration deadline to June 30, 2019 for bank account holders who had bank accounts prior to January, 2017,” announced Chanda.
“Let me emphasize that this extension only applies to bank account holders who opened their accounts prior to January 1, 2017, and as such, transactions with Zesco, RTSA and the Ministry of Lands will require the presentation of the TPIN certificates before they can be processed as per the requirements of the law. This includes prospective bank account holders.”
The ZRA’s total gross revenue collections hit K57.8 billion, while total refunds amounted to K9.4 billion, registering a net total collection of around K48.5 billion or 18 per cent of GDP compared to their targeted 16.2 per cent.