Finance minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has told Parliament that the implementation of the new Sales Tax has been scheduled for July 1, 2019.
She told parliament today in response to a point of order that the Sales Tax Bill would be presented in Parliament for first reading on April 1, 2019 (next Tuesday).
“Mr Speaker, i wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to update the house and the nation on progress made towards the implementation of sales tax…in my 2019 budget address, I announced the intention of government to abolish the value added tax (VAT) and replace it with a simpler, non-refundable Sales Tax. Sir, this reform is intended to address the challenges of government being in a perpetual net refund position to tax payers, a situation that has resulted in the accumulation of VAT refund arrears and decreasing revenues for spending on social and economic development,” Mwanakatwe said. “…significant progress has been made. The draft bill has been concluded and it will be presented to this August house for the first reading by 2nd April 2019. It is intended that the second reading and finalisation of the bill by the House will be done during the June 2019 session. During the intervening period, the Bill will undergo further stakeholder consultations through the parliamentary committee and interaction by the ministry of finance with different economic players. Sir, this being a new law, we do not want to leave any stone unturned. The proposed date of commencement for the sales tax is the 1st of July 2019.”
She said moving from VAT to Sales Tax was a major reform.
“As part of the process, the government has since October, 2018, been engaging key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors to provide input into the conceptual framework and design of the new tax….Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to thank the business community for their input during this process. It is in recognition of our partnership that government has taken time to engage stakeholders and I will ensure that sufficient lead time is granted for a smooth transition from VAT to Sales Tax,” said Mwanakatwe.
“Mr Speaker, government is committed to doing the very best for this country. And this economy I therefore wish to reaffirm our commitment to implementing a simplified non-refundable Sales Tax regime that will provide a win–win solution for government and business.”