Zimra ex­pands lifestyle au­dits

The Zim­babwe Rev­enue Author­ity wants more mus­cle to back tax com­pli­ance mea­sures, while also in­di­cat­ing that it is widen­ing its lifestyle au­dits to ferret out those who live large while evad­ing their dues to the State.

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - BUSINESS NEWS - Liv­ing­stone Marufu

THE tax collector wants re­peat of­fend­ers jailed on the back of sta­tis­tics in­di­cat­ing that of the US$6 bil­lion Africa loses yearly to tax eva­sion, Zim­babwe alone ac­counts for around US$1 bil­lion. Zimra board chair­per­son Mrs Wil­lia Bony­ongwe told The Sun­day Mail Busi­ness that, “Many peo­ple and busi­nesses are op­er­at­ing out­side the tax net and it is th­ese we want to catch to re­duce the bur­den on those who com­ply.

“Th­ese are the peo­ple who cry loud­est when Zimra fi­nally catches up with them and they have to pay for up to six years be­fore, but it is only fair to those who com­ply.

“The author­ity will con­tinue with its anti-cor­rup­tion ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing ef­fec­tive util­i­sa­tion of the anti-cor­rup­tion hot­line, lifestyle au­dits, whis­tle blower facility and of late, en­gag­ing our po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship in Par­lia­ment to as­sist in ed­u­ca­tion for the tax­pay­ers in their var­i­ous con­stituen­cies.

“Zimra is also lob­by­ing Gov­ern­ment to make the penal­ties for tax eva­sion more de­ter­rent in­clud­ing dis­gorge­ment and even time in jail,” said Bony­ongwe.

Dis­gorge­ment en­tails giv­ing up il­le­gally or un­eth­i­cally ob­tained prof­its, usu­ally via a court or­der, and is largely viewed as a rem­edy rather than a pun­ish­ment.

Mrs Bony­ongwe said the author­ity re­mained com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing tax­pay­ers had ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion and ser­vices at min­i­mal cost.

Zimra has in­tro­duced a cargo track­ing sys­tem at the coun­try’s bor­ders, and is push­ing com­pa­nies to fis­calise so that the author­ity has easy ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion per­tain­ing to trans­ac­tions, while also fa­cil­i­tat­ing regis­tra­tion of SMEs and in­for­mal op­er­a­tors so that they start con­tribut­ing to the na­tional rev­enue base. Mrs Bony­ongwe said rev­enue col­lec­tion en­hance­ment mea­sures like sys­tems au­to­ma­tion, au­dits and anti-cor­rup­tion ini­tia­tives were bear­ing fruit.

Gross col­lec­tions for the third quar­ter of 2017 were US$1,03 bil­lion, or 19,25 per­cent above the US$863,56 mil­lion tar­get. Net col­lec­tions af­ter US$62,05 mil­lion in re­funds amounted to US$967,76 mil­lion — 12,07 per­cent above tar­get. The an­nual tar­get is US$3,7 bil­lion, and au­thor­i­ties say col­lec­tions can reach US$6 bil­lion in an en­vi­ron­ment of bet­ter tax com­pli­ance.

Mrs Wil­lia Bony­ongwe

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