ZIMBABWE’S tax collector is owed over $500 million by companies through taxes making it difficult for the tax collector to meet revenue targets. This has forced the tax collector to engage government on the issue, an official has said.
Victoria Mtomba,Business Reporter
Speaking at a workshop aimed at conscientising MPs on the operations of Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), the authority’s commissioner-general Gershem Pasi said several companies owed the revenue authority money due to the fact that the government was not paying for services rendered.
“The Government owes companies money and the businesses are not able to pay Zimra on time. Companies owe us $500 million-plus in taxes, this is a reflection of the economy. If the government finds a way to pay the authorities, that will enable money to circulate in the economy. Money is not circulating because the principal debtor is not paying,” he said.
“We are in discussions with Treasury; the resources are inadequate for us to generate $4 billion for the year.
“The government is the biggest debtor on the domestic market and we are trying to talk to Treasury to pay businesses. We had reached a stage where we were not paying. Treasury should pay people on time because we will end up changing all the laws.”
Pasi said some of the parastatals and local authorities that were paying their bosses huge amounts of salaries were partially paying taxes to Zimra.
“Yes, some were paying partially. Some boards authorise that our laws be flawed, you find that the whole system allowed
for different books, but that will be approved by the boards,” he said. Zimra recorded a total net of refunds collections for the year 2013 of $3,43 billion against a $3,64 billion target.
In 2013, many companies closed shop, which makes 2014
a difficult year as the tax collector will not be able to meet the revenue target set by the government.