Zimra to conduct lifestyle audit
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) plans to conduct a lifestyle audit in the country as part of measures to enforce compliance with tax payment regulations.
While the country is going through a rough economic patch evidenced by job losses and pay cuts in some entities, the tax authority says levels of noncompliance are still high.
“The posh houses being built and flashy cars being driven around Zimbabwe do not tally with the decline in individual taxes recorded,” Zimra board chair Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said in a revenue performance report for the first quarter of 2016 released at the weekend.
“In this regard Zimra will continue to conduct lifestyle audits to enforce compliance.”
She said Zimbabwe’s economy was in serious distress and required urgent solutions and unity of purpose including tackling corruption to move forward.
Apart from the crippling effects of sanctions, Mrs Bonyongwe singled out corruption as a devastating factor to the economy.
“While sanctions are exogenous, corruption is endogenous and within our control to deal with as a deliberate policy. The culture of corruption has destroyed good business strategy, every good Government policy and efforts to revive the economy.
“Corruption destroys legitimate businesses. It has permeated all areas of our society. It is no longer time to talk about it, we just have to deal with it decisively,” she said.
The country recorded a 12 percent increase in individual tax in the second quarter of this year to June compared to the first quarter.
“Collections under this revenue head amounted to $355.77 over H1:2016, which is 9,24 percent below target and 6.26 percent down from $379.5 million collected in H1:2015,” said Zimra.
Meanwhile, the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) debt as at the end of the first half of the year stood at $679.8 million, up from $555 million at the beginning of the year.
e tax head is expected to remain under pressure owing to the prevailing economic environment and the new structure of economic units, said the authority.