The Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with BDO Zambia hosted a Consultative CEO’s Breakfast Meeting to discuss the Goods and Services Tax on Thursday 14th March 2019 at Intercontinental Hotel from 07:30 to 09:30 hours.
The event was part of the on-going consultative processes where it is envisaged that the discussions will yield amenable recommendations to be presented to the Minister of Finance for consideration into framing of the policies and frameworks on the GST.
The Ministry of Finance and Zambia Revenue Authority attended this event.
Some key takeways from the members include:
1. Negative effects on companies that have already given quotations in sectors like air travel and tourism where the value dates are sometimes two years in advance.
2. Some businesses are at a standstill because they cannot tender locally and internationally lest the tax inhibits further business due to price increases beyond the tendered and contracted prices leading to possible litigation for breach.
3. The fact that GST failed in Malaysia which was used as a reference in the current GRZ rationale.
4. The proposed regulatory framework to govern the implementation of the GST is not given.
5. If implemented in its current format, it might be cheaper to manufacturers to produce in RSA and maintain a sales outlet here.
6. Need for simplification of the whole tax process so that it is relevant to the Zambian scenario and not the current complicated cut and paste options which disadvantage both large corporates and particularly SMEs. They want to comply but don’t know how to.
7. Clear, specific sensitization programme must be initiated to educate the business community and consumers (especially the youth so that they understand the issues surrounding this and other taxes as future leaders).
ZACCI will continue to engage with officials on the Sales Tax issue.