BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
FAILURE to issue a receipt or tax invoice is a serious offence that attracts huge fines, Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Corporate Communications Manager, Topsy Sikalinda, has warned.
Mr Sikalinda said it was unfortunate that despite the law requiring that businesses especially those registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) must always issue fiscal receipts after every business transaction, the compliance level was still very low.
He said it was only through the receipts that monies paid in taxes would be accounted for and remitted to the government.
Without a receipt being obtained, Mr Sikalinda said in an interview, a business could manipulate the entire sales transaction and evade taxes.
He said it was therefore a serious offence not to issue a receipt or tax invoice by any business.
“No business would love to risk and get penalised with a huge amount on a simple mistake either with intent to defraud the state of the tax revenue or purely out of negligence.” Mr Sikalinda said.
He indicated that the advantages of issuing receipts to a business were vast and among them was improved compliance and reduction in pilferage by employees.
The business, Mr Sikalinda said, also avoided penalties arising from non-issuance of receipts from the tax authority.
He said the culture of receipt issuance has to be internalized by every business and organisation.
Mr Sikalinda encouraged customers to always demand for a receipt whenever they bought any item.
He explained that demanding for receipts helped the government and the tax authority to collect the correct taxes on behalf of the Zambian people.
“As citizens, when we fail to demand for a receipt after purchasing goods or services, then we fail our country and ourselves.
“We ultimately deprive ourselves the much-needed resources required by the government to be used in various economic development activities and programmes such as infrastructure, education, health just to mention a few,” Mr Sikalinda said.