Bankers protest over mandatory ZRA TPIN rule

THE new Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN) requirement should be removed from the 2017 national Budget to allow the industry consult with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), the Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ) has said. The TPIN is a unique 13-digit number given to each taxpayer and it is a pre-requisite to all procedures of tax registration under domestic taxes and customs divisions. BAZ chairman Charles Mudiwa explained that the industry needed to consult with ZRA on the modalities and practicalities of implementing the measure. He was speaking during submissions on the estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year ending 31 December, 2016, to the expanded committee on estimates. Mr Mudiwa explained that the new TPIN requirement for all bank accounts was another layer on the already difficult Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements. “The technicality of ensuring banks comply is not clearly spelt out and not all bank customers may have a need to have a TPIN or eligible in the case of minor accounts. “We would like to propose that this measure is removed from the 2017 Budget to allow the industry to consult with ZRA on the modalities and practicalities of implementing this measure,” he said. In the 2017 national Budget, Government under its housekeeping measures proposed to make it mandatory for financial institutions registered under the Banking and Financial Services Act to require all bank account holders to obtain a TPIN. According to Minister of Finance, Felix Mutati, the measure would assist in increasing taxpayer compliance and make it easy for the revenue authority to identify individuals that were in receipt of undeclared income such as foreign dividends and interest currently taxable. Mr Mutati said the proposal would further facilitate the provision of information from financial institutions to the ZRA.