THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) yesterday served a warrant of distress on Homebase Hardware Limited of Lusaka for mis-classifying and undervaluing imported glass worth K145,000.
ZRA has since given the firm 10 days in which to settle the K145,000 or face further action which may include seizure of property or indefinite closure.
Homebase Hardware is a direct importer of steel, glass and mirrors.
This was the second time in a week that ZRA has pounced on a company for non compliance to tax obligations after the Post Newspaper was raided for owing the agency more than K16 million in unpaid taxes.
A team of ZRA officials in the company of police served the notice on Homebase, which was located on Freedom Way, at 09:00 hours and held a dialogue with manager Shahid Ali for close to an hour.
Mr Ali took the authorities through the company’s asset records while business went on with some passers-by stopping to have a gist of the incident.
ZRA corporate communications manager Mumbuna Kufekisa later told journalists that Homebase had been cited for under-valuating three consignments of glass imported through Nakonde Border recently.
The firm purported to have cleared the products, which included tinted and clear glass at the standard tax rate of 15 per cent when infact not.
The first consignment of glass was worth K51, 788 while the second and third were each pegged at K46, 800.
“ZRA has issued a warrant of distress on the three entries of glass intercepted at Nakonde border. Our mobile compliance unit discovered that the consignments were not declared correctly and this is why the firm has been asked to make amends,” he said.
Mr Kufekisa said the action taken on Homebase should be an eye opener for other importers to learn that under-valuation of goods was a disservice to one’s business.
He said Homebase could have avoided the incident as the compliance unit was available 24-hours each day to attend to queries raised by importers.
“The mobile compliance unit is present countrywide and ZRA will continue to carry-out its mandate of ensuring that tax collection is maximised,” he said.
Mr Ali declined to comment on whether the firm would meet the ultimatum of payment and directed all queries to his director who was reportedly out of the office.