Shehas asked to promote compliance in tax property payment

ZANZIBAR: LEADERS at the community level have been asked to encourage compliance in property tax payment

Unguja West B District Commissioner Hamida Mussa Khamis said here recently that the community leaders should help in educating the people the importance of paying taxes to boost revenue collection needed to finance various development activities in the Isles.

“We ask you, since you are government representatives at the lowest level, to promote, encourage, and ensure that property tax is paid because the revenue is needed to finance development projects,” Ms Hamida said when she opened a seminar on ‘property tax’ sensitization to community leaders serving in Unguja Urban-West Region.

She said the community leaders have a responsibility to educate the community on the importance of revenue in development and to ensure that every tax that the government has introduced is paid in accordance with the law.

“There should be no one who does not understand the importance of taxes. Community leaders have the responsibility to see that everyone who is entitled to pay taxes in his place is responsible to do so.”

“Let’s continue to fulfill our duties as leaders in the community including backing the Zanzibar Revenue Authority (ZRA) in collecting taxes, particularly the property tax,” she emphasized.

Speaking at the seminar, ZRA Commissioner General Yussuph Mwenda asked the local leaders to ensure that the education they received about tax payment is conveyed to the people so that they cooperate in registering all buildings/properties subject to property tax payment.

Mr Shaaban Yahya Ramadhan, Head of Communication and Tax Information Department, told the local leaders that recent reforms on taxes and the re-introduction of property tax, which was not implemented since 2008 when it was introduced, must be enforced.

“ZRA reminds the general public, especially owners of properties (residential and business buildings) that the deadline for the payment of property tax is November 30, this year,” he said.

“The property tax is paid once every year, and fortunately following reforms, those paying before this specified deadline will not be required to pay with penalties. ZRA seeks to build a friendly and voluntary tax compliance culture in collecting lawful revenues.”

Each storey residential building is required to pay property tax of 10,000/- while the business building or business storey building is to pay 50,000/- annually according to ZRA.

Hotel property tax for Five-star; four-star; three-star; two-star; one-star; and other hotels is 500,000/-; 400,000/-; 300,000/-; 200,000/-; 100,000/- and 50,000/- respectively.

All people, investors and people in business community should comply including paying the Value Added Tax (VAT) which was raised from 15 percent to 18 percent on Bank services; communication, and postal services, he said.

“It is fortunate that affordable housing schemes; airplanes and their engine and accessories; Green Houses; and renewable energies are now VAT free.”

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