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Thursday, 21 October 2010

Something positive

The Zambia Revenue Authority has now started to publish aggregate statistical data on taxation and other issues. This is a good development, though the data needs to be more accessible in different formats (e.g. excel). It was painful just to put the chat below together - click to enlarge (real comparisons reveal very interest results - not shown below but will let others have a go). Hope it will be updated more regularly.

Update :
In case you are having trouble locating the tax data. The link is above and can also be found here (at the bottom of the page you will see options e.g Taxation, GDP. Click on one of those).


  1. Dear Zambian Economist and Readers,

    ZRA has noted your concerns about teh accessibility of the data. We will try to improve this in the future. We originally designed the database to be in excel format but current technical issues with the ZRA webpage system have prevented us from doing so.

    However, your pain can be easily be alleviated if you use the 'Paste Special' technique when pasting into Excel. Choose 'Paste Special', then choose to past as 'text'. This will solve the majority of problems you are facing.

    Thankyou for highlighting the database and the associated issues.

  2. From the above chart, I would like to make two observations.

    1) K600 billion PAYE

    PAYE from miners incomes is not stricly a contribution from the mining companies. It income tax on workers, and is part of the cost of doing business. They might as well add their local suppliers. This is money that has been produced by the workers, and it is coming out of their wages.

    Then, at an exchange rate of K5000/$, K600 billion is $120 million.

    2) The steep drop-off in company taxes from 2006 to 2009

    Company taxes dropped from K600 billion to K400 billion from 2007 to 2009.

    3) Negative Taxes

    At several points in the chart (company tax in 2005, and PAYE and export duty in 2007) taxes seem to have been below zero - does this mean the GRZ was paying the mining companies instead of the other way around?


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