Tax re­lief for busi­ness

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Her­ald Reporter

REG­IS­TERED and tax-com­pli­ant busi­nesses in the four pro­duc­tive sec­tors that do not in­crease prices beyond those pre­vail­ing be­fore Satur­day will be el­i­gi­ble for tax re­lief on the higher ex­cise du­ties charged for fuel so long as they can show the fuel was used for pro­duc­tive pur­poses, Min­is­ter of Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Prof Mthuli Ncube said last night.

In a state­ment fol­low­ing up on the an­nounce­ment by Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa on Satur­day of new fuel prices to curb waste­ful usage com­pounded by ram­pant il­le­gal cur­rency and fuel trad­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, Prof Ncube said:

“Cog­nisant of the need to pre­vent gen­er­alised price in­creases for goods and ser­vices fol­low­ing the fuel price ad­just­ments, Gov­ern­ment has de­cided to pro­vide re­lief through re­fund of ex­cise duty on fuel con­sumed by reg­is­tered busi­nesses in the fol­low­ing sec­tors: Man­u­fac­tur­ing; min­ing; agri­cul­ture and trans­port.

“The re­lief to be pro­vided will be equiv­a­lent to the dif­fer­ence be­tween the pre­vail­ing rates of ex­cise duty and the rates that were ap­pli­ca­ble prior to this change.”

Ben­e­fit­ing busi­nesses had, said the min­is­ter, to meet four cri­te­ria: ◆ The prices of goods and ser­vices by ben­e­fi­cia­ries should not have in­creased rel­a­tive the lat­est change in the price of fuel; ◆ The ben­e­fi­cia­ries should be reg­is­tered and com­pli­ant for tax pur­poses; Ben­e­fi­cia­ries should be mem­bers of recog­nised busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions and, ◆ Ben­e­fi­cia­ries should pro­vide ev­i­dence of the pro­duc­tive use of the fuel. “Con­sul­ta­tive en­gage­ments will be held with the re­spec­tive sec­tors, re­spon­si­ble Min­istries and the reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties, with a view to de­ter­min­ing modal­i­ties of im­ple­ment­ing the re­lief. Mea­sures will also be put in place to pro­vide for the smooth im­ple­men­ta­tion of the re­lief dur­ing the tran­si­tional pe­riod,” read part of the state­ment.

But the min­is­ter warned cheaters: “Any abuse through mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions of facts with a view

to ben­e­fit­ing from the fa­cil­ity will re­sult in de­nial of use of the fa­cil­ity, and im­po­si­tion of a penalty.

“Fur­ther­more, Gov­ern­ment would want to urge all busi­ness lead­ers to de­sist from any form of ram­pant mar­ket in­dis­ci­pline, and is con­cerned with the re­cent un­jus­ti­fied prices in­creases, which serve to un­der­mine Gov­ern­ment ef­forts to re­store macroe­co­nomic sta­bil­ity.”

Prof Ncube urged busi­nesses, in the spirit of work­ing to­gether, to

com­ple­ment Gov­ern­ment ef­forts to re­vive the econ­omy by “re­frain­ing from any counter-pro­duc­tive mea­sures such as wan­ton price hikes”.

He added: “In this re­gard, all those who have in­creased their prices since the lat­est fuel price re­view should re­vert to the pre12 Jan­uary, 2019 prices, given that Gov­ern­ment has al­ready put in place a price ad­just­ment com­pen­satory frame­work through re­funds.”

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