SHORT SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE REVENUE PROPOSALS BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
INCLUDED IN THE RECENT MID TERM REVIEW OF THE 2014 FISCAL POLICY STATEMENT
From 15th September 2014 (1) Excise duty on diesel & petrol increased by 5 cents a litre.
(2) 5% Excise duty imposed on airtime for voice & data.
From 1st October 2014 : (1) Six-month Tax Amnesty In order to encourage taxpayers to voluntarily regularise their tax affairs, I propose that His Excellency, the President grants a limited Amnesty to all taxpayers who disclose their tax obligations within a period of six months, and also pay within a period of six months. The Amnesty will cover all taxpayers in respect of their tax obligations for the period beginning 1 February 2009 to 30 September 2014, without any further extension. To facilitate disclosure, the whistle-blower facility will be suspended during the Amnesty period. Furthermore, no penalties and interest will accrue on the tax obligations within the period of the Amnesty. The Amnesty takes effect from 1 October 2014.
(2) Customs duty on mobile handsets of 25% will be levied.
· (3) Increase in customs duty/surtax on wide range of imported products from 1 October 2014 (both to try and reduce the Current Account Deficit by discouraging imports and also to stimulate local industries by making foreign products more expensive for local consumers) These are products such as –
· Meat/edible offal (beef, pork, turkey, ducks, geese, guineafowl, frozen jack and horse mackerel, dried fish)
· Dairy produce (milk and cream – duty doubled; fermented milk, yoghurt, butter, cheese)
· Vegetables and miscellaneous edible preparations (cauliflower, headed broccoli, cucumber, gherkins, mushrooms, truffles, chillies, pumpkins, squash, gourds, potatoes, sweetcorn, pigeon peas, sweet potatoes, groats, maize meal, soya bean flour/meal, other flours and meals of oil seeds or oleaginous fruit, sugar confectionery not containing cocoa, bakers mixes and doughs, certain pastas, sweet biscuits, certain other breads/cakes/biscuits, yeast, dog/cat food for retail, food for cage birds/aquarial fish)
· Beverages (aerated water, mineral water, other non-alcoholic beverages/clear beer made from malt)
· Portland cement (increased from 15% to 25%+surtax for both MFN and SADC rate of duty)
· Petroleum jelly (surtax added to MFN rate and SADC rate increased from 10 to 25%+surtax)
· Wooden furniture for offices, kitchens and bedrooms, excluding seats
· Perfumery/cosmetics/soap (perfumes, toilet waters, lip/eye makeup, manicure/pedicure preparations, powders, shampoos, hair preparations, deodorants, antiperspirants, perfumed bath salts, room deodorizers, polishes/creams for footwear/leather/woodwork, scouring pastes/powders).
· From 1st November 2014 : (1) Local motor vehicle assembly plants are currently operating at below 1% of installed capacity (this despite Presidential Directive 16 of 2011 that ‘Government Departments and parastatals will purchase motor vehicles from the local assembly plants’ – which the Review now resurrects three years later, with effect from 1-11-2014). I propose to increase customs duty on imports of the following motor vehicles –
Single cab of a payload more than 800kgs but not exceeding 1 400kgs increased from 20 to 40% duty
Double cab trucks increased from 40 to 60% duty
Buses of carrying capacity of 26 passengers and above increased from 0 to 40% duty
Passenger motor vehicles of engine capacity below 1 500cc increased from 25 to 40% duty.