Government has been losing over K480 million in taxes through dubiously imported vehicles, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda has revealed.
Sikalinda stated in a statement after the Authority unearthed another scam where over 8,000 heavy duty vehicles (trucks and Earth Moving Machinery) had been dubiously imported into the country.
“The government has lost about K480 Million in taxes because these heavy duty vehicles were imported dubiously using VAT deferred facility for other taxpayers,” Sikalinda stated.
He stated that to encourage growth of the manufacturing sector and industrialisation, government gives incentives to businesses engaged in manufacturing or industrial sectors by deferring Value Added Tax (VAT) on heavy duty vehicles for those who qualify for the facility.
“Unfortunately, this facility has been abused by both clearing agents and importers who have been dubiously importing these vehicles by making false declarations and abrogating the Customs and Excise Act cap 322 of the laws of Zambia,” Sikalinda stated.
“Smuggling of goods through false declarations, transit fraud, misclassifications, under declarations, and under valuations are serious offences and offenders shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
He stated that the authority had so far revoked 136 clearing licenses for clearing companies and blocked their Tax Payer Identification numbers (TPINS) on the Asycuda World System.
“We shall tomorrow publish the first batch of heavy duty trucks that were imported dubiously and another list will be published next week,” Sikalinda stated.
He has since called upon the owners of the said vehicles to report at the Inspectorate and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit offices within 14 days from date of publication.
Sikalinda has also appealed to all people who imported heavy duty trucks and earth moving machinery but did not pay taxes to comply.
“We urge all citizens to pay taxes directly to the Zambia Revenue Authority to avoid being swindled by smugglers who pretend to be clearing agents. Investigations will continue and more clearing agents and vehicles will be published,” stated Sikalinda.