The Zambia Revenue Authority has come up with a new regulation that will make it easy for The Post newspaper to pay back the twenty six million kwacha they owe the government in tax payers’ money but at the same time reduce the money the government needs to deliver social services such as provision of drugs in hospitals.
The new regulation known as Document Face Vetting will ensure that The Post will not pay more than the between K200,000 to K300,000 they have been paying per day under an agreement with the ZRA following the September 25 swoop by ZRA.
Documentation in our possession from the ZRA shows ordering its tax collectors not to do the following:
1. Amounts above K100,000 shall not be accepted
2. Splitting of cheques shall not be allowed from one client in one day
To a none knowledgeable mind, all this looks benign but it actually is quite sinister when you take a closer look.
The Post for instance has been paying between K200, 000 to K300, 000 per day since they were caught playing dilly dallying in their tax obligations in order to liquidate their huge debt.
But with the new regulation in the process of being sneaked in, The Post will relax payment and pay less than half the money they have been paying since the tax collectors got tough on them in September.
The regulation that has been seen as being grossly in bad faith and perhaps aimed at only saving the interest of The Post also means other big tax payers such as the mines will now delay clearing their tax obligations since they can now pay only K100,000 per day.
Below is the memo to save Fred Mmembe from collapsing under a tax bill in place following a stay of execution he obtained from court:
Amounts above K100, 000.00 should not be accepted.
l) Splitting of cheques is not allowed. Tax payer with two or more cheques amounting to more than K100, 000 drawn from one individual or Company paying the same institution or individual. E.g. (i) one company paying for two different periods for DOMT. (ii) One Tax Payer paying for more than one entry. (iii) One Agent paying for more than one tax payer. As long as the sum of the cheques drawn amounts to more than K100, 000. It is called cheque splitting; such payments should be made through E-payment or RTGS. Alternatively, if the agent is paying for different tax payers, he should collect cheques from individual tax payers he is paying for drawn in their names and submit for them.
ZRA officers think the regulation will lead into the organization collecting less and less money which shall eventually lead into pressure onto the central government to meet its various obligations.
The obligations include paying teachers wages, buying maize, buying drugs and building schools or sinking bore holes for the poor including paying farmers.
Fred Membe has continued to delay paying the money he owes the government. It is unclear how this law came by and or whether the government was informed through parliament as normal procedure requires.