Zambians, Wary of Taxpayer ID Rule, Opt for Mobile Money Rather Than Banks
By Prudence Phiri
Lucas Mwape has a bank account, but he has been hesitant to use it since last year, when the bank requested that he obtain a taxpayer identification number (TPIN).
A TPIN is a computer-generated identification number assigned to a taxpayer. It is a prerequisite for individuals and companies to file tax returns, says Topsy Sikalinda, corporate communications manager for the Zambia Revenue Authority.
However, Mwape is worried that a TPIN will enable the government to collect additional taxes from him.
He opted to do his financial transactions via his mobile network provider rather than through his bank, because using such mobile money transactions does not require a TPIN.
“I am scared that I might be taxed for things I don’t know, [that] these TPIN numbers could be another form of tax,” Mwape says.
Photo courtesy of Scott Mainwaring.