Tax and the entrepreneur in Africa: A legal case study of the Zambian situation.
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The main purpose of taxation is to raise adequate funds to finance government programs. The other purpose is to redistribute wealtn ariiongine Citizenry. Government effort in meeting the two objectives is frustrated by limited tax base, exacerbated by tax evasion especially by the self-employed, that is, the informal sector. The businessman views tax as unnecessary burden and tries hard to either reduce or avoid the tax liability. This leads to overzealous tax officers taking drastc measuures, such as garnishment and/or issue of warrant of distress, against presumed delinquent taxpayers). It is also sometimes believed that the Party that is in power will use State machinery, such as the tax authority, to destroy the businesses run by members of the Opposition. This is manifested by the collapse of once flourishing businesses run by politicians who are now in the opposition camp and the sudden success of once fragile businesses which were run by those now in the ruling political party. Furthermore, no member of the ruling party is ever in trouble with the tax authorities, until when that party loses the general elections. This paper looks at some of the recent court cases in Zambia, brought about by both the taxpayers and the tax authority. It examines whether there is respite for small and big entrepreneurs who may feel that the government of the day is out to destroy their businesses. It disproves some of the accusations of political annihilation by confirming that the aggrieved party, be it the taxpayer or the tax authority, has an opportunity to seek andfind redress in the courts of law.
- Entrepreneurship