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ZRA boss, Dingani Banda, warns of dangers of unprofessional reportage of tax issues


Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has said unverified and half-baked tax news is irresponsible and tantamount to economic sabotage.

Unverified tax news fed to members of the public is of major concern, ZRA Commissioner, General Dingani Banda, said in Lusaka on Thursday.

Read more: Zambia capable of generating K17bn from VAT, K9.7bn from CIT if tax net is widened, gaps closed —ZRA

Addressing journalists at a media workshop in Lusaka on Thursday, Banda said by communicating informed tax news, the media was contributing to taxpayer education.

He said this would ultimately lead to improved tax compliance and more revenue for the country.

The media workshop was organised by Zambia Revenue Authority in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ) Revenue for Growth Project (USAID R4G).

“You will agree with me that the onus of developing Zambia lies on the shoulders of all of us including the media. Revenue mobilisation is the key in ensuring that our development vision as a country is actualised.

“In this regard, we need to work together to achieve the bigger vision of developing Zambia. The negative impact of untruthful, unverified and half-baked tax news cannot be underestimated. It is irresponsible and is tantamount to economic sabotage,” Banda said.

He thanked Zambian journalists for the coverage given to the Authority, particularly on issues to do with enhancing tax compliance, modernization, anti-smuggling activities, operations at the ports of entry, combating tax evasion and illicit financial flows and promotion of integrity, among others.

Banda, however, said there was room for improvement by undertaking in-depth analysis and interpretation of critical and complex tax matters such as revenue leakages, transfer pricing, base erosion and the importance of compliance by all individuals and businesses.

He said this was due to the grave consequences of such vices to revenue mobilisation and the government development agenda.

Speaking earlier, USAID Mission Deputy Director Robbin Sharma emphasised the need for the media to be truthful in their reporting in order to build trust with members of the public.

Sharma said the media had a responsibility to publish news which would contribute to the growth of Zambia.

“You are the member of the fourth estate, you are the ones that are bringing out the facts as you are the ones recording,” he said.

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