A grand total of 1,379 inputs have been designated to be exempted from the impending Sales Tax from July 1, 2019, including, among others, copper ores, concentrates and petroleum bitumen.

And the last date for the filing in of VAT returns is expected to be July 18, 2019, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) says.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill No. 7 of 2019 has made provisions for exemptions from tax on the following: a) Capital goods; b) inputs as prescribed in the exemption schedule; c) Designated basic and essential goods and services; d) Designated supply to privileged persons; and e) exports.

According to the comprehensive list published on the ZRA website detailing inputs proposed for Sales Tax exemption, a grand total of 1,379 items are designated to be exempted, which include: copper ores, concentrates and petroleum bitumen, among a vast array of essential inputs.

Other minerals include cobalt concentrates, while energy products such as petroleum bitumen, petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons are equally exempted from being subjected to the Sales Tax rate of 16 per cent applicable to all imported goods.

Other products in selected industries, namely agro-processing and retail, look set to also be major beneficiaries of the impending Sales Tax.

Products such as powdered milk imported in bulk for further processing, soya bean flour and meal; crude palm oil are scheduled to be excluded from Sales Tax, while newsprint, in rolls or sheets, black printing ink, whether or not concentrated or solid and construction materials, such as bricks, blocks and tiles are equally exempted from attracting Sales Tax.

And according to the ZRA, the last date for the filing in of VAT returns is expected to be July 18, 2019, exactly 17 days after Sales Tax is due to be implemented and enforced.

The GST rate will be pegged at 16 per cent on all imported goods into Zambia, while the rate on domestic services supplied within the country will be nine per cent.

Sales Tax is a consumption tax on goods and services supplied and imported into the country, and will be applicable on all taxable goods across the supply chain in various sectors from importation, manufacturing, distribution all the way down to wholesale and retail.