Bridging the PAYE Tax Revenue Gap
"Based on the Report “Uncovering the Unknown: An analysis of Tax Evasion in Zambia,” Zambia is currently grappling with issues of reducing high budget deficits. Zambia’s tax revenue-to-GDP ratio dropped to a record low of 13% in the early 1990s from a peak of 30% in the 1970s. To address the problem, Government embarked on a wide range of tax reforms that included the formation of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in order to increase revenue collection through efficient tax administration. Despite these reforms, tax revenues have remained low, averaging only 17% of GDP. The low tax revenues can be partly attributed to tax evasion. The current legal and administrative measures to address this problem are inadequate. This is evidenced by the underperformance of taxes such as PAYE with a significant proportion remaining uncollected. The estimated PAYE tax gap as a percent of GDP is 6.7% or 40.3% of total tax revenues in 2010. Government should embark on comprehensive legal and administrative tax reforms in order to minimise the tax gap, thereby combating tax evasion."