THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is targeting to collect $4,3 billion in gross revenue by year-end, up 8% compared to what was achieved in 2017, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Last year, the actual gross revenue collections totalled $3,978 billion, which surpassed the target of $3,4 billion by $350 million.
Zimra head of corporate communications Francis Chimanda told Standardbusiness that the taxman had collected $4,146 billion over 10 months ending October 31, 2018.
This was 18% above target.
“Our year-end target for gross revenue collection is $4,3 billion,” Chimanda said.
He, however, lamented the current tax compliance levels, which he said were very low at 50% on average.
“The current tax compliance level is a matter of concern as it is barely at 50% on average, while on sector basis it is now as high as 80% for large corporates,” he said.
“While these figures pertain to the formal and tax-registered taxpayers, the case of the informal sector is not measured.
“Undoubtedly, tax compliance levels in the informal sector are the lowest and worst.”
Chimanda also said Zimra was owed $4,5 billion by companies, parastatals and councils, dating back to before 2015.
Private corporates owe the authority $3,62 billion, including penalties and interest, as at October 31, 2018 while parastatals and councils owe $604,587 million and $275,016 million, respectively.
To strengthen debt recovery efforts, Chimanda said the domestic taxes department had set up a fully-fledged debt recovery section focusing solely on debt recoveries.
The authority is also carrying out voluntary compliance campaigns to motivate and sensitise taxpayers so as to increase voluntary compliance.
“For some taxpayers who are distressed due to the current adverse economic environment, the authority is negotiating and making softer payment terms,” Chamanda said.
“The authority continues to use the garnish facility as a last resort where the debt recovery section would have failed having followed all the procedures.”
He said some parastatals and city councils who owed the authority were also owed by government.
As such, Zimra was putting forward a proposal for debt set-off with the government wherein Treasury evens out the amounts due to parastatals by paying taxes.
“Zimra has applied this in order to avoid further deterioration of debt. Suppliers of those parastatals whose tax clearance would have been withheld will withhold 10% tax and pay it directly to Zimra,” Chamanda added.