THOUSANDS of Zimbabwean businesses may have lost millions of dollars in an alleged scam by a group of companies contracted by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to supply fiscal devices, two years ago.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
Sometime in 2016, nine Harare-based firms Microware House, Axis Solutions, Rumikon Computers (t/a Matrix Warehouse Computers), Global Horizons, Document Support Centre, Cortech Solutions, Fiscal Revenue Solutions (Aura Group, Fiscal Support Services and Just IT, were contracted by Zimra to supply the devices.
Through their association the companies priced the gadgets, originating from Bulgaria, at between $1 500 and $1 800 payable in advance, but most are yet to deliver them.
Zimra is now selling the same gadgets at around $400 each.
The devices were namely the Epsom TM-810F KO with an in-built printer and the Eltrade PRP 250, both designed and suitable for busy commercial sites and retail sectors, given their high speeds and itemised billing.
For small-to-medium enterprises like restaurants the Eltrade A3 and B1 electronic cash registers are suitable and recommended.
Each business requires at least two of these gadgets, which print invoices for retention by the business and customer copies.
Fiscal devices are gadgets that monitor and record business activities and can be described as automated cash registers, which transmit transaction information to the taxman.
It is a requirement that all businesses must have these devices to show compliance to Zimra and its tax schemes.
Statutory Instrument 151 of 2011 makes it an offence not to use a fiscal device and a business is liable to a fine of $25 a day for 181 days per device.
It is a modern system used in place of physical visits by tax men and businesses without risked not getting 2018 tax clearances required for licensing and continued trading.
After realising the contracted companies were failing to supply the devices, Zimra started supplying the gadgets at a lower price.
Zimra spokesperson Canisio Mudzimu, however, declined to comment over the price discrepancies.
“The appointment of suppliers of fiscal devices is a transparent process that is done by a committee chaired by the ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. As you are aware, there are currently 10 approved suppliers of the fiscal gadgets, who include the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra),” he said.
Mudzimu added: “The appointment of Zimra was meant to improve the availability and affordability of the fiscal devices in the market to ensure the success of the fiscalisation programme.”
He said businesses now have the option of purchasing the gadgets from Zimra, where the prices of the fiscal devices are more affordable.
An official from Global Horizon said they were struggling to get foreign currency to import the devices.