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ETR delay irks Bulawayo business community

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Businesspeople in Bulawayo on Wednesday took a swipe at government for failing to properly implement the fiscalised devices programme.

Speaking at a meeting convened by the Association for Business in Zimbabwe addressed by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and one of the suppliers of the electronic tax registers (ETRs), businesspeople said the tender winners were failing to meet the demand.

Zimra has already announced that it would accept both fiscal and non-fiscal value added tax (VAT) returns for January, but has urged operators to apply for a deadline extension from the revenue authority’s director-general after it heard that licensed suppliers were struggling to meet demand.

Treasury last year approved two dealers, First Computers and Axis Solutions, to supply electronic cash registers and electronic signature machines to every one of the country’s eligible operators, requiring them to comply by January 1.

“We want to understand how the two companies got the tenders to supply the fiscalised devices when they clearly don’t have the capacity,” asked one of the business person.

“They have taken our money and keep on postponing the date of delivery of the devices. How did the Zimra approve (the companies) if they don’t have funds to buy the machines?”

Another businessperson said Zimra should extend the deadline for implementation in view of the challenges being faced by suppliers.

“Zimra should give an extension not because we are unable to comply but because you (Zimra) are incapable of enforcing that law at this point,” one businessman told Zimra officials at the meeting.

According to Statutory Instrument 104 of 2010, all Category C companies with a turnover of $240 000 per annum are supposed to use ETRs, which are fiscalised devices to capture all transactions that the company enters into.

Most of the businesspeople who attended the meeting said government should allow individual companies to import the cash registers on their own, to which Zimra head of client care and data processing Brighton Rombe said:

“The law is clear on that; there are only two recognised suppliers of those devices.”

Zimra head of audit in the Matabeleland Eric Maguranyanga said the fiscalisation requirements will in due course be extended to all businesses in the country.

“We are starting off with category C but the intention is that everyone should be fiscalised. We couldn’t take everyone at one go,” he said.

ETRs range between $600 and $3 200.
The government expects to boost VAT.

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