Zimra to close 5 companies

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THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has said it has not closed any company, but has identified five companies that would be shut down as it moves to stamp out malpractices, commissioner-general Gershem Pasi has said.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

The warning came amid a groundswell of discontent from companies which see Zimra as a “monster” that would go at length to collect its dues. Zimra is owed close to $1 billion by companies and individuals in unpaid taxes.

Pasi told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises last week that claims the authority was closing companies were untrue and challenged the corporate sector to bring evidence of the closed companies.

“Zimra is being accused of closing businesses and I have challenged the corporate sector to say bring one to the table that has been closed because of Zimra,” Pasi said.

“On my records I have five I would want to close . . . and when I close them, I will not apologise because they are really not businesspeople.

“What they are doing is illegal and its destroying everything we believe in.”

He could not name the culprits. Companies have been accusing Zimra of destroying their operations by garnishing them in the event that they fail to pay Zimra dues.

Companies whose accounts have been garnished by Zimra would not be able to transact. Pasi said if the tax collector wanted to close companies, the money it was owed would have been less than $1 billion.

Zimra had given companies up to today to negotiate payment plans under the amnesty that was supposed to end in March. Pasi said the response on the amnesty “has not been what we expected”.

“When we came up with the issue (amnesty) there was a lot of pressure on Zimra, that we were being too heavy-handed,” he said.

“After the amnesty we need to be ruthless, we may want to come to our minister to tighten it even further. We have done all we can.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. The Government and banks collects and makes more than the investor in the Zimbabwe business environment.

    Beside the Econets and Deltas my little research has shown me that all the companies or business who seem to be making it are involved in some corruption, have deals with Zanu, or deals with some ZIMRA official.

    My research has also shown me that +85% of goods on the informal market have been smuggled into the country and no VAT or duty paid.

    Can a formal company survive burdened with all these: VAT, NASSA, Corporate Tax, EMA, Zimdef, Standard Levy, Aids Levy, Council Rates, Duty, an Array of licences for every business activity and of course Police Levy(Corruption) to get your goods to point A.

  2. Before the country went leaderless, no company failed to pay taxes. Now companies are finding it difficult to operate and still Zimra wants to squeeze the last cent or drop of blood so that government can spend it on recurrent expenditure, e.g. foreign travel. That’s it Gershom, last time you suggested that government should sack civil servants and deny them bonus. Now you want companies to pay more. What is your real position? Is it to increase revenue collections or to plug unnecessary expenditure. Let’s set our priorities right. What’s needed now is for gvt to stop unnecessary fiscal hemorrhage and then you can strategize to mop up resources from tax payers, not forgetting that companies and individuals are also employing survival tactics. Please don slay the duck that lays the golden egg simply because its egg is currently small. Find ways of feeding the duck so that it can lay bigger eggs. It’s better for you to err on the side of caution than to be ruthless on your way to hell.

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