Finance Minister Felix Mutati has directed the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to extend the tax amnesty deadline to 31st August from 31st July 2017.

In a statement today, Mutati however said the deadline for time-to-pay extension agreements remained 31st December 2017.

He also revealed that 40 brand new vehicles had been procured for enforcement which had commenced with immediate effect but would be accelerated after the 31st August new deadline .

“The amnesty on interest and penalties which was introduced by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) on 24th April, 2017, came to a close yesterday on 31st July 2017. During this period, taxpayers were expected to submit outstanding tax returns and pay all principal tax liabilities for tax periods prior to 1st March 2017, after which all interest and penalties accrued for the said period would be waived in full. Taxpayers were expected to pay all outstanding principal liabilities within the amnesty period,” Mutati said.

“I therefore wish to direct the Zambia Revenue Authority to extend the amnesty up to 31st August, 2017. Notwithstanding this extension, the deadline for time-to-pay agreements remains 31st December, 2017 and all other rules will remain as announced by the commissioner general during the launch of the amnesty campaign on 24th April, 2017.In instances where taxpayers have not able to settle the principal liabilities before 31st July 2017, ZRA offered an opportunity of settling such tax liabilities in installments by entering into time-to-pay agreements (TPAS) with taxpayers to be settled before 31st December 2017.”

Mutati said no applications for further extension would be entertained after the expiry of the additional 30 days.

“I wish to take this opportunity to encourage members of the public to take full advantage of this extension and not wait for the last minute to put their tax affairs in order. ZRA must ensure that all taxpayers with issues on their tax accounts are attended to before the new deadline, after which enforcement action should be instituted against all taxpayers with liabilities on their accounts,” said Mutati.

“In this regard, ZRA is expected to step up its enforcement strategies in order to deal with the post-amnesty period. For example, 40 brand new vehicles have been procured for enforcement which has commenced with immediate effect but will be accelerated after the new deadline of 31st August, 2017. I am glad to note that ZRA has also recruited more officers in order to enforce its mandate of revenue collection.”