Zimra blamed for company closures

THE business community in Mutare has blamed the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) for the closure of several companies by imposing stiff penalties and garnisheeing their accounts forcing them to shut down.

CLAYTON MASEKESA

Business executives last week told NewsDay on the sidelines of a business breakfast meeting in Mutare that Zimra’s action worked contrary to the urgent need for job creation and sustainable development.

They called on the authority to review the tax penalties and suspend the garnishing of their funds.

Simon Hukuimwe, an entrepreneur, said: “Zimra is instituting drastic garnish orders and attaching company assets of defaulting businesses. This is a very sad scenario that has led to many workers being thrown onto the streets.”

Secretary for Manicaland Business Forum (MBF), James Muusha, said Zimra’s actions had crippled the already struggling businesses.

“The government is preaching ZimAsset (Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation), but how can the programme be successful when an arm of the government like Zimra is working to the contrary?” Muusha said. “If nothing is done to address the penalties faced by defaulting companies and the removal of garnishing orders, we are going to see more companies closing.”

Memory Gamuchirai, a local businesswoman, said: “Mutare plays an important role in the implementation of ZimAsset due to its proximity to the Indian Ocean. It is the gateway to the sea. But we are facing difficulties from Zimra that have left us wondering if we will do business again. The penalties are very harsh and there is need for reviewing these garnishing orders.”

Zimra head of audit in Manicaland Willie Chishakwe said a lot of companies in the province owed the tax collector.

“We can actually exceed our targets by three times if we collect all the debts. Zimra is offering payment plans to those in arrears. If you don’t come to own up what you owe us that is when we take drastic measures,” he said.

Chishakwe said due to the prevailing harsh economic conditions they were not attaching property.

“We understand that companies are under financial stress and we have suspended the attachment of property, but, there are cases though where the Commissioner-General is empowered to do so,” he said.

Finance deputy minister Samuel Undenge said Zimra played an important role in government’s fiscus.

“We have a huge salary bill for the civil servants. They need to be paid and thus companies must pay their dues on time to avoid penalties,” he said.

Undenge said companies in Manicaland were to blame for not taking an initiative to venture into value addition operations of diamonds, gold and other minerals and natural resources in the province.

14 Comments

  1. ZIMRA is sometimes selective pabasa ravo. In some business sector havasvike yet people are playing with cash government isina chunhu. for example : farming sector. New farmers are paying nothing. After harvesting macardemia new farmers ran to buy fleet of cars, making noise in farming towns without contributing anything to government. New farmers are holding maize instead of selling it to GMB. They are holding farm produce because they need more money yet they were given everything by government. If ZIMRA vakapinda mufarming sector they sell their farm products inorder to pay zimra. so ZIMRA try this more cash is there. BATAI MURIMI ZVIITE.

    1. Seek advise from a tax accountant not to blame ZIMRA.ZIMRA works according to the tax legislation in the country not according to ZIM ASSET. Not collecting tax will actually limit ZIM ASSET.

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  2. The people do not have the motivation to pay taxes,mainly because almost everyday we read
    government losses 4 million in a fuel scam,huge and unjustified salaries.put the money to good use we will pay.heavy penalties on us yet no penalties for people who steal the same amount.is that fair

  3. Moderators, have you lost control over your website that you can’t ban or remove these “Work At Home” adverts?

  4. The Dalaai Lama

    Moscow you took words out of my mouth. The work for cash adverts have become an eyesore. In some cases they are even placed right after a touching story.

  5. People in Mutare you simple need to pay your dues and stop blaming ZIMRA.ZIMRA is not selective but you need to understand your taxation laws or hire tax advisers. If your trade is making you pay more tax try farming so that you get more deductions and tax reliefs.

  6. ZIMRA has always been there and we have always paid our taxes happily,in part because our money was being put to good use.This has changed.While business is facing tight trading conditions,noone ever talks about cost cutting by govt.Almost all public servants are now provided with luxury cars.Looting is the order of the day.Hospitals are now hell holes.To fund their insatiable tastes ZIMRA is unleashed on the hapless informal sector and struggling businesses.To get them on board they are given bonuses four times a year when “targets” are met.The result is thumbsucked assessments and horrendous penalties and the rule is pay first then we argue the merits.GOVT MUST LIVE WITHIN ITS MEANS and not resort to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.Mark my words very soon they will be going door to door looking for tax on lodgers and VAT on lobola.Of course bribes will be paid and the State will be no better off.

    1. ‘Observer’ where have you been for the last 30 odd years to make the comment that “ZIMRA has always been there and we have always paid our taxes happily,in part because our money was being put to good use.” Look around the whole country & tell us when last was maintenance prioritised?

  7. ZIMRA i think its high time it starts taxing people with so many properties so that resource are distrubited equally.e.g one should not boost of having 10 houses 20 cars 10 farms etc one person should have one house etc so that no one holds property for speculative purposes. my son or my daugheter should just buy his or her houses whenever he wants because there are no few people holding on to property.This is the case in developed countries. I have a practical example or i can say a true story a family in UK when the grandfather was about to die he offered his house to his grand children and because the house was a banglow (that is a house which is not a flat) so it had more tax more than a flat the grandchildren refused to inherit that house and the house was given to charity, so you see these children knew very that i can pay more tax whilst i have my house. so you see this will wipe out the element of greedness amoungst ourself. FOOD FOR THOUGHT ZIMBABWE.

  8. Ko why is it machurch are not taxed by Zimra,Makandiwa & his crowd are making a fortune of people tax free…..Zimra where are you??????

    1. If Makandiwa and his crowd are making a fortune from money that comes from their pockets, how does that money become taxable? This money is not being sourced from outsiders, but is paid by UFIC members for the furtherance of their own project. If say 30 people decide to contribute towards a braai for themselves and raise $2000, this money is not taxable my dear.

      How do you tax a group of people who contribute their own money to meet their own collective targets? These people have already been taxed as individuals, and you cannot go on to tax them collectively.

  9. The Zimbabwean Government focus is all wrong. Instead of providing an enabling environment, good roads, power at all times, a strong policy against corruption, transparent democratic governance, workable, sensible investment policies, a police force that does proper policing instead of harassing and fleecing of their few dollars, it is daily shooting itself in the leg. Why does the police have “targets” in collecting money from people instead of ensuring the rule of law prevails? Unroadworthy vehicles fill the street, but the police continue collecting money for the same? How can a small country like ours have such a huge police force, a civil service which does pretty much little? Why should the people who are trying to build Zimbabwe be persecuted to the extent of going out of business? Zimbabwe is said to pay as much as 70% of the taxes collected on an incompetent civil service. just look at the birth certificates, passport application and processing situation. Why would anyone in their right mind pay Mudede, if they were not FORCED.

    People, please use your heads, instead of just displaying your ignorance.

    In Zimbabwe we have ministers, deputy ministers etc of such ministries as Women’s Affairs and other useless ministries created by a clueless “leadership”.

    Why do we as Zimbabweans not have pride to succeed like others? We just dwell in mediocrity, talking a lot without any sensible action for the better.

    We need a lean competent civil service which helps drive the economy forward, and thats not done by closing businesses. A good government encourages business and employment generation. In other countries the tax departments do not hound people. People pay taxes because they see the difference that that tax dollar does. In Zimbabwe newly “elected” MPs demand vehicles and loans etc, and the people, companies are supposed to pay for that!! In Zimbabwe we put people in positions with the effect of oppressing and suppressing us.

    I subscribe to the belief that people deserve their bad leaders! We deserve what we have in Zimbabwe.

    Until the government works for the betterment of the country, Zimra, ministers, cabinet and president do not deserve to get money from the people. Right now they just collect from the people because they can, not because they deserve it.

    Think for once!

  10. Makandiwa haabhadhari ZIMRA nekuti panezvaanoita kumusangano,ZPF.

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