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.”