ZRA goes to supreme court

30 Nov 2015

ZRA

Alert
25/11/2015
Category: Legislated
The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has filed a notice of appeal in the Supreme Court against the High Court ruling in which The Post Newspapers was granted a stay of execution to restrain the authority from demanding full settlement of tax obligations.
According to the Zambia Daily Mail of November 24th, 2015, this is in a case in which The Post Newspapers has appealed to the Supreme Court following the High Court’s dismissal of its application for judicial review over the proposal to pay the tax liabilities in instalments.
The Post Newspapers owes Government over K16 million, inclusive of penalties and liabilities. The High Court has, however, ordered the Post Newspapers to honour its tax obligation with the government within 90 days of the disposal of its appeal in the Supreme Court.
The firm had earlier applied for judicial review in the Lusaka High Court following ZRA’s rejection of its proposal to pay the tax liability in instalments.
According to the notice of appeal filed in the Supreme Court registry last Friday, ZRA, through its legal department, stated that it was appealing against the whole judgment.
The Post Newspapers had earlier appealed against Lusaka High Court judge Mwiinde Siavwapa’s judgment of October 30, which favoured ZRA over disputed tax obligations.
The media organisation appealed to the Supreme Court against judge Siavwapa’s verdict, which allowed the ZRA to implement its demands to collect disputed tax figures from the newspaper.
The Daily Nation reports that in a memorandum of appeal filed in the Supreme Court, ZRA made an application based on four grounds of appeal.
In ground one, the appellant stated that the High Court erred in both law and fact when it confirmed the stay of execution which ordered that the Post Newspaper limited should make itself current with its tax obligations with ZRA within 90 days of disposal of the appeal by the Supreme Court, thereby exceeding its jurisdiction.
In grounds two, it was stated that the high court erred when it disregarded the statutory timeframe within which the Post Newspaper as a taxpayer was supposed to pay its taxes.
In grounds three of the appeal, the appellant stated that the High court erred in law, when it disregarded the principle that taxes are due and payable immediately, notwithstanding an appeal by the tax payer.
And in the last grounds of appeal, it was stated that the High court erred in proceeding to grant the stay of execution even after establishing that the Post Newspaper’s intended appeal to the court had no merit.
MISA Zambia officials visited the institution and charted the way forward when the ZRA attempted to seize property from the media house with a warrant of distress earlier this month. MISA has continued to engage with the affected media house to ensure its operations are safeguarded in the interest of media diversity and pluralism.

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