Zambia: VAT refunds on exports easier

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ZAMBIA had amended rules that prevented exporters from First Quantum Minerals to Vedanta Resources claiming refunds on VAT payments, the Zambia Revenue Authority said yesterday. A rule requiring exporters to supply import documents from the country of destination to get refunds would be removed with effect from Monday next week, it said. To claim refunds before that date, companies must still provide the documents, the authority said, adding that it had withheld repayments of 3.6 billion kwacha (R6.2bn) as of July 31. The government should “streamline” tax rules and negotiate a staggered repayment of the money owed to companies, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said last month. The dispute over VAT refunds had pushed mining firms in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer to stall or slow up to $1.5bn of investments, the Chamber of Mines of Zambia said. The amendments were received with “a lot of relief”, the chamber said. – Bloomberg

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