Zambia: Tax

This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of Tax laws and regulations applicable in Zambia.

  1. How often is tax law amended and what are the processes for such amendments?

  2. What are the principal procedural obligations of a taxpayer, that is, the maintenance of records over what period and how regularly must it file a return or accounts?

  3. Who are the key regulatory authorities? How easy is it to deal with them and how long does it take to resolve standard issues?

  4. Are tax disputes capable of adjudication by a court, tribunal or body independent of the tax authority, and how long should a taxpayer expect such proceedings to take?

  5. Are there set dates for payment of tax, provisionally or in arrears, and what happens with amounts of tax in dispute with the regulatory authority?

  6. Is taxpayer data recognised as highly confidential and adequately safeguarded against disclosure to third parties, including other parts of the Government? Is it a signatory (or does it propose to become a signatory) to the Common Reporting Standard? And/or does it maintain (or intend to maintain) a public Register of beneficial ownership?

  7. What are the tests for residence of the main business structures (including transparent entities)?

  8. Have you found the policing of cross border transactions within an international group to be a target of the tax authorities’ attention and in what ways?

  9. Is there a CFC or Thin Cap regime? Is there a transfer pricing regime and is it possible to obtain an advance pricing agreement?

  10. Is there a general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) and, if so, in your experience, how would you describe its application by the tax authority? Eg is the enforcement of the GAAR commonly litigated, is it raised by tax authorities in negotiations only etc?

  11. Have any of the OECD BEPs recommendations been implemented or are any planned to be implemented and if so, which ones?

  12. In your view, how has BEPS impacted on the government’s tax policies?

  13. Does the tax system broadly follow the recognised OECD Model? Does it have taxation of; a) business profits, b) employment income and pensions, c) VAT (or other indirect tax), d) savings income and royalties, e) income from land, f) capital gains, g) stamp and/or capital duties. If so, what are the current rates and are they flat or graduated?

  14. Is the charge to business tax levied on, broadly, the revenue profits of a business as computed according to the principles of commercial accountancy?

  15. Are different vehicles for carrying on business, such as companies, partnerships, trusts, etc, recognised as taxable entities? What entities are transparent for tax purposes and why are they used?

  16. Is liability to business taxation based upon a concepts of fiscal residence or registration? Is so what are the tests?

  17. Are there any special taxation regimes, such as enterprise zones or favourable tax regimes for financial services or co-ordination centres, etc?

  18. Are there any particular tax regimes applicable to intellectual property, such as patent box?

  19. Is fiscal consolidation employed or a recognition of groups of corporates for tax purposes and are there any jurisdictional limitations on what can constitute a group for tax purposes? Is a group contribution system employed or how can losses be relieved across group companies otherwise?

  20. Are there any withholding taxes?

  21. Are there any recognised environmental taxes payable by businesses?

  22. Is dividend income received from resident and/or non-resident companies exempt from tax? If not how is it taxed?

  23. If you were advising an international group seeking to re-locate activities from the UK in anticipation of Brexit, what are the advantages and disadvantages offered by your jurisdiction?