No debt write-off: Zimra

ZIMBABWE Revenue Authority (Zimra) will not write-off the $3,9 billion it is owed by companies and councils, as this will set a bad precedent of not paying dues, a top executive told a parliamentary portfolio committee on Monday.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

Zimra commissioner for domestic taxes, Happias Kuzvinzwa told a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development that the authority has negotiated with organisations which have debts to come up with a payment plan.

“If we write-off, what message do we give to those who are compliant? Yes, if we force them to pay today they will collapse, but if we come up with a payment plan, they will know that they will pay up,” Kuzvinzwa said.

Of the $3,9 billion, the private sector owes the taxman $3 billion, parastatals ($490 million) and councils ($232 million).

Zimra’s net collections for 2017 were $3,75 billion, which surpassed the target of $3,4 billion.

The revenue collection contributes 27% of the country’s GDP, well above South Africa, Botswana which stood at 25%.

“We exceeded target with a level which we didn’t do for the past four years, given the harsh economic environment. We did quite well in line with new dispensation we can safely that the strength of any government is seen by its capacity to mobilise resources, “ Kuzvinzwa said.

Zimra board chairperson Willia Bonyongwe said when the $4 million electronic cargo system was put in place, there was a 60% decline in transport, meaning that most of them were smugglers.
She said the taxman has collected

$12 million in fines, with 159 agencies being deregistered for providing false information.

Legislator Eddie Cross asked why a case of trucks which smuggled fuel was not prosecuted, to which the Zimra officials said the matter was under police investigations.

Cross requested Zimra to submit the police case number to the committee.

His request comes after Zimra last year intercepted four tankers carrying about 140 000 litres of diesel that was ostensibly in transit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, but illegally offloaded in Chitungwiza and replaced with an equal quantity of water.

Cross bemoaned the smuggling of goods at port of entry, adding that it was a pity that the country which has $6 billion imports was collecting $390 million from import-related taxes.

Zimra commissioner-general Faith Mazanhi said that they will embark on a tax gap analysis to determine how much each sector of the economy contributes depending on activity.

5 Comments

  1. Gukurume ReMasvingo

    We[l done ZIMRA. What I think you need to do is to go round educating people of why the nation has to pay duty and taxes. I also think that you have to have concessions for individuals so that they do not fear officials at the boarders and this will discourage smuggling.
    A good example is how quickly deals and get out on the South African boarders and when it comes to the other side – Zimbabwe, we spend hours and hours to be cleared

  2. Zimra you need to stop playing games, one of the main reasons the economy was doing so badly is the over zealous Zimra officials milking the last remainders of the formal economy. To prove this the GDP to revenue collection in Zim is actually higher than in America and yet what do we have to show for it?

  3. THE PRESIDENT PROMISED HE WILL GIVE COMPANIES TAX RELIEF TO ALLOW THEM TO START ON A FRESH PAGE WITHOUT THE TAX NOOSE ON THEIR NECKS. ZIMRA YOU WANT TO MAKE THE PRESIDENT SOUND LIKE A LAIR. PAMBERI NE COMMAND TAX RELIEF

  4. Tax relief is different from debt cancellation.

  5. I like this site very much, Its a really nice spot to read and get information. “From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.” by Sir Winston Churchill.

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