MUTARE – Residents and businesspeople on Wednesday said the proposed residence-based taxation system should not worsen the dire situation of distressed industries and businesses by squeezing them further.
REPORT BY OBEY MANAYITI
The residents and business community urged the government to first ensure the prevailing economic environment was conducive for business growth before the Income Tax Bill was passed.
They were making submissions at a meeting convened by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion which is currently touring to gather views on the proposed Income Tax Bill set to replace the Income Tax Act.
Among the major changes contained in the Bill is the shift from the source-based income taxation system where tax is levied on income originated in Zimbabwe to a residence-based one, where the taxable income is from income earned from all geographical sources within or outside Zimbabwe.
“Please ask the Minister of Finance (Tendai Biti) to also simultaneously tell us the tax rates so that we can judge the impact on the ailing industries,” Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries official Henry Nemaire said.
“Our industries are limping and we cannot continue with business in the next 12 months. We want to know the rates so that we prepare on time.”
A Mutare resident, Jonathan Chindewere, also said the committee should have given people time to read and comprehend the Bill so that they could make informed contributions.
Representatives of labour organisations highlighted the need to improve people’s earnings before passing the Bill.
Suspended Mutare mayor Brian James said the Bill should avoid possibilities of double taxing hence measures should be put in place to help local authorities. Others noted that the Bill should not tax people to death as the country’s economy was still down.