INCORRECT or non-availability of bank details has caused delays in paying Value Added Tax (VAT) to mines, says ZRA corporate affairs manager Mumbuna Kufekisa.
Mr Kufekisa said that was because ZRA was no longer paying out refunds in cheques.
Responding to a press query, Mr Kufekisa said ZRA was paying VAT to mines through bank transfers and not using cheques as was the case in the past.
Mr Kufekisa said as a result of using bank transfers, any incorrect bank details may contribute to delays in paying out the refund.
“ZRA is no longer paying out refunds using cheques; all refunds are done through bank transfers meaning any incorrect or non-availability of details may contribute to the delay in paying out the refund,” he said.
He explained that credibility VAT audits for refunds were normally concluded within a week of receipt of documents from taxpayers.
Mr Kufekisa further explained that the increase in delays was largely on account of the taxpayers not submitting the required documents for verification on time.
“The increase of number of days is largely on account of the taxpayers not submitting the required documents for verification on time particularly those with export transactions where there is a legal requirement to ensure that all zero rated exports satisfy the requirements of VAT Rule 18,” he said. He said the current structure was that the mining audit unit was based at head office in Lusaka which meant that for refund purposes, taxpayers had to submit their documents to Lusaka for verification.
He said officers only visited the taxpayer’s premises for integrated and comprehensive audits.
“Some taxpayers have Penalties and Interest which they may not be aware of and ZRA will refund net of any outstanding liabilities. “However, we do endeavour to reconcile the Taxpayers account with the taxpayer to avoid misunderstandings,” he said.
Mr Kufekisa has since urged all affected taxpayers to visit ZRA for account reconciliations and to ensure their bank details were up to date.
Recently, the Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) said mining firms faced challenges with regard to VAT refunds such as extended period of filing in of VAT returns and the actual disbursement of refunds from 30 to 60 days. ZCM economist Shula Jalasi-Shula explained that the increased delay in receiving refunds presented cash flow problems for mining companies.
He also said that the documentation required to fulfil the old VAT law could not be acquired on account of the vast global networks between copper producers, intermediate commodity traders and the final consumer.