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‘Daily Z Report suspended for some’
The Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) announced the completion of the draft amendment for taxation laws.
The draft proclamation, which was sent to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), is expected to include recommendations to the amendment of all forms of taxation, including Value Added Tax (VAT).
Mekonnen Ayele, legal advisor of ERCA, said that the Authority has sent the final draft to MoFED for feedback. He told Capital that the amended tax proclamation, when endorsed, will replace the existing regulation on various taxes, including Excise Tax, VAT, Turnover Tax, Sur Tax and Income Tax.
Mekonnen said that the new regulation is expected to be amended by parliament during the current fiscal year, if it receives the approval of the Ministry and the Council of Ministers.
Efrem Mekonnen, Public Relations head of ERCA, told Capital that the new law has been evaluated by the Authority several times, as well as by relevant government offices and various stakeholders, who have discussed the proposal before it was submitted to MoFED. He said that discussions with the private sector will be held in the future.
According to the legal advisor, the draft regulation that aims to replace the current cash register machine regulation is also sent to MoFED, although he declined to give detailed information on the subject. Our sources at the authority say the new tax proclamation will have several changes from the existing regulation, but the changes will not become public before the Ministry’s approval of the amendment. Meanwhile, the business community has been protesting about most of the taxation schemes. The VAT taxation system remains the most controversial issue between ERCA and the business people. Traders are claiming that the implementation of VAT was not conducted in a uniform manner for businesses engaged in similar line of works. They also added that the implementation of the VAT scheme is creating unfair competition between those businesses that have registered and those that haven’t. Our sources indicated that the new law will also take this into consideration and may include new VAT implementation/introduction schemes.
Meanwhile, as of Saturday, May 4, the Authority endorsed a new directive that improves the usage of cash register machines for selected business enterprises.
Previously, businesses that weren’t engaged in daily transactions were obliged to issue their total of daily sales known as Z report at the end of every working day. This was burdensome and quite unnecessary for some businesses such as consultancy firms that get paid few times a year. Many such companies have complained on several joint conferences with the Authority, but were told that the rule applies to them as well and hence they need to print daily a report indicating 0 sales until the D day when they will print their income.
The new directive allows those businesses involved in construction and consultancy services to issue their Z report only twice a month rather than every day.
According to Mekonnen, the new directive will permit 22 types of businesses, identified by the authority, to benefit from this amendment.
On the discussion held on Tuesday, May 7, at the Ghion Hotel between business owners and Authority officials, this particular issue was raised by participants. Officials commented that, based on the discussion held in November 2012, the Authority has proposed a solution to resolve the problem and received approval two days ago, i.e. before Tuesday’s event. The Authority has also promised to use automation for its various activities.
The other major issue raised by the participants was customs procedures. According to ERCA’s Public Relations head, the new draft proclamation for customs is already in the hands of parliament for review. “It is expected to pass before the end of the current budget year,” he added. Efrem stated that the new tax law aims to accelerate import-export activities of the country.