NGO’s Public benefit organisations lose tax holiday

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Government has lifted the tax exemption for Public Benefit Organisations and other Non- Governmental Organisations.

This follows Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda signing Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 103 of 2013 which has brought into effect the Customs and Excise, Public Benefit Organisation Amendment Regulations.

According to a press statement issued by Ministry of Finance Public Relations Officer Chileshe Kandeta, the SI is effective 8th November 2013.

The statement further says that this means all motor vehicles and spare parts for motor vehicles imported by Public Benefit Organisations shall no longer qualify for tax exemption.

Other goods which will no longer qualify for tax exemption under the Public Benefit Organisation Scheme  include wines, except sacramental wine imported by a religious body or Church, other alcoholic beverages and all household goods except beds and mattresses.

Linen, kitchen equipment, tobacco products and goods whose value is equivalent to a travellers allowance remission under Customs and Excise Regulations SI 54 of 2000 will also not be exempted from tax.

And Mr Kandeta says Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba is concerned that some Public Benefit Organisations have been profiting from the tax exemption by selling tax exempted goods without the approval of the Commissioner General of the Zambia Revenue Authority.

Mr Yamba said under SI No. 103 of 2013, it is an offence for any organisation to violate the provisions under which existing tax exemption incentives have been granted.

He said organisations that shall violate the SI will face sanctions.

Mr Kandeta said this move has come after the Ministry of Finance reviewed SI No. 7 of 2009 under the Customs and Excise, Public Benefit Organisations, Rebate, Refund or Remission Regulations in order to streamline exemptions provided to Public Benefit Organisations.

He said during the presentation of the 2014 National budget to Parliament in October this year, Mr Chikwanda announced that government had undertaken a review of tax incentive regimes in order to rationalise tax incentives as part of the tax reform process. / ZANIS

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