The Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has urged Government to publish guidelines on pending Sales Tax implementation, which comes into effect April 1.
No one knows how this tax will be implemented nor the rates at which it will be implemented, this is not good on the part of business entities especially that the new tax brings into play a number of adjustments on the part of tax players, CTPD Executive Director Isaac Mwaipopo said.
Mr Mwaipopo said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that in presenting the 2019 National Budget address before Parliament, the Minister of Finance indicated that Zambia would shift towards using Sales Tax effective April, 2019. This proposal came as a surprise to many especially that countries are now moving away from this type of taxation due to challenges in implementation.
“The Civil Society Organisations cautioned against going this direction because we think such a policy direction needed adequate time for preparation, we are now four days away from the day this measure is to come into effect and there are no signs on the road map for sales tax implementation.” He said.
Mr Mwaipopo said the silence on the part of Government to communicate such important economic policy changes to the business community in due time may impact negatively on business and the economy at large.
It must be noted that tax changes of this magnitude affect foreign direct investment since foreign investors need to also make proper forecasts of their returns before making such investments.
“We remain concerned with the delayed release of the guidelines on sales tax implementation and we would like to urge Government to consider postponing the implementation of sales tax so as to allow for more consultation.” Mr Mwaipopo said.
By Maimbolwa Mulikelela, Times of Zambia