The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has observed that Ethanol smuggling is on the rise in the country leading to the manufacturing of illicit alcohol popularly known as Tujili-jili or Junta.
ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda stated in a press release, Thursday, that the Commission would therefore start conducting random and extensive inspections on all individuals and businesses suspected to be involved in tax evasion through the manufacturing of illicit alcohol.
Sikalinda further disclosed that ZRA was in talks with the Opaque Beer Association of Zambia (OBAZ) and other stakeholders, working to reorganise and reduce revenue leakages for government in the brewing industry.
“The Authority wants to ensure that there is sanity and tax compliance in the brewing industry whether opaque or clear beer. For this reason, the Authority will work closely with the Opaque Beer Association of Zambia (OBAZ) and other stakeholders to reorganise and reduce revenue leakages for government in the brewing industry. The Commissioner General of the Zambia Revenue Authority Mr. Kingsley Chanda met with the OBAZ this week and resolved among other things, to improve tax compliance in the beer industry, level the playing field and carry out joint assessment to determine installed capacity of all players in the industry,” stated Sikalinda.
“This will ensure that all players pay their fair share of taxes, including penalties and interest to the national treasury. This will also result into review of the importation of ethanol which is used to manufacture illicit beer that has serious health implications on the youths in Zambia. The review of importation procedures for ethanol which is used to manufacture illicit alcohol will protect the vulnerable youths who are more prone to the abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol. The Commissioner General has warned all tax evaders to prepare for grave consequences as provided under the law.”