HomeAMH Voices#AMHVoices:Payment of taxes is everyone’s responsibility

#AMHVoices:Payment of taxes is everyone’s responsibility


It is critical that every citizen should have a correct insight into the need for the central government to collect taxes from all Zimbabwean citizens for funding public projects and services. Citizens are the direct beneficiaries of these programmes. If we fail to pay tax or evade it, then certainly we have to expect a collapse.

SK,Our Reader

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is the body responsible for collecting taxes. Zimra derives its mandate from the Revenue Authority Act, passed by the Parliament of Zimbabwe in 2002 and other related legislation.

Taxation is an indispensable requirement for the generation of government revenue which is essential for keeping government running. This is an important tool of the fiscal policy of the government and is the opposite factor of government spending.

Fiscal policy is the use of government revenue collection, mainly taxes and expenditure to influence the economy. According to Keynesian economics, when the government changes the levels of taxation and government spending, it influences aggregate demand and the level of economic activity. Fiscal policy can be used to stabilise the economy over the course of the business cycle.

Revenues earned by the government are received from sources such as taxes levied on the incomes and wealth accumulation of individuals and corporations, and on the goods and services produced, exports and imports, non-taxable sources such as government owned-corporations’ incomes, central bank revenue and capital receipts in the form of external loans and debts from international financial institutions.

Zimbabwe needs to apply some global best practices such as those implemented by the United States government. The US is the only country that taxes its citizens on their world-wide income, no matter where they live. If applied here, certainly the country will rake in a lot of revenue from millions of Zimbabweans living in Diaspora.

These people expect good government service delivery when they come back home or when they are seeking renewal of their passports, while they do not participate in funding its operations through taxation.

In view of these circumstances, this, therefore, explains the need by Zimra to explore ways of collecting cash from all those that owe the State.

In present day religious organisations are engaging in “churchneurship” in which they harvest lots of cash from congregants.

Just to give one example, some church leaders sell thousands of small bottles of anointing oil at $10 daily. This is a direct form of revenue which is subject to taxation by the government.

This should apply to any church organisation that generates cash.

The idea of shaming tax defaulters suggested by Zimra is a good idea, but merely shaming them is not good enough. Defaulters should be convicted using relevant laws as a way of compelling them to be compliant. That way, we will be assured as nation that all of us have a core responsibility to fund our government operations.

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