THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) says The Post newspaper should pay the K16 million statutory debt instead of insinuating that the authority received instructions to seek payment the newspaper owes.
ZRA said it conducts its operations without any undue influence from anyone, contrary to assertions by The Post that State House had a hand in the ‘raid’ on the newspaper.
The authority said in a statement issued by its communications unit in Lusaka on Sunday that it operates without any political interference or any form of bias at any level.
ZRA advised all tax-payers to comply with the tax laws by paying their taxes on time to avoid penalties, interests, enforcement action and prosecution.
And the Authentic Advocates for Justice and Democracy (AAJD) says The Post should not blame President Lungu for failing to meet its tax obligations when the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) demands payments.
AAJD executive director John Mulenga said it is criminal for any organisation operating in the country to knowingly evade tax because it feels it is ‘untouchable’.
Mr Mulenga said in an interview yesterday that those who are not paying tax knowingly are robbing Zambians of the economic benefits that they are supposed to enjoy.
He wondered how The Post expects Government to operate when it is failing to meet its tax obligations.
Mr Mulenga said failure to pay taxes sends wrong signals to foreign investors who might think it is the right thing to do in Zambia.
“If we do not pay tax, then what kind of picture are we painting to those that are coming to invest in Zambia,” Mr Mulenga said.
He said Government depends on the revenue it collects through ZRA and if certain companies or individuals opt not to pay tax, then what they are doing is a disservice to the country.
Mr Mulenga urged individuals supporting erring companies in terms of tax compliance to be sincere with themselves and the country.
He said some individuals, especially some politicians, should be principled not to talk ill of some policies simply because they don’t suit them at any given time.
On Sunday, State House said it is unreasonable, preposterous and outrageous in the extreme for the Post Newspaper to claim that demands for full settlement of tax obligations is a move to close it down.