6 December 2012

Zambia: We'll Give You More Tax Relief, Chikwanda Assures Workers

GOVERNMENT will provide more tax relief to workers in the formal sector by increasing the tax-exempt threshold in the 2014 Budget, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has assured.

Mr Chikwanda said this in Parliament on Tuesday during presentation of four Amendment Bills that came for Second Reading and passed for Committee Stage.

These were the customs, excise, income and value added taxes and the Zambia Development Agency Amendment Bills.

The minister said the Government was still concerned with the tax burden borne by the workers in the formal sector.

He said the State provided the much-needed relief through, among other means, the amendments in the Income Tax Bill.

"Government assurance is that we will continue to review the regime to improve tax relief to our workers in the formal sector.

"It is admittedly right that there is more relief on those in the formal sector and we will work to ensure this happens in the 2014 Budget," Mr Chikwanda said.

This was after acting chairperson of the Committee on Estimates, United Party for National Development (UPND)'s Kabompo West Member of Parliament (MP) Ambrose Lufuma expressed concern at the tax-exempt threshold.

Mr Lufuma said the food basket by the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection was placed at K3.4 million per month, hence the need to have an upwards adjustment of the tax threshold which was now at K2.2 million for the lowest earner.

He said the tax system should be the major contributor to Government coffers, especially tax earned from the mining sector.

In response, Mr Chikwanda assured that the concerns raised by the committee would be taken on board to better the lives of the people by providing tax relief.

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