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ZIMRA surpasses target, collects ZWL$23.19bn in FY19

PHILLIMON MHLANGA

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) surpassed the revenue collection target by about 25% to ZWL$23.19bn in 2019 after it intensified tax audits going as far back as six years and issued garnishee orders, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has said.

The target for 2019 was ZWL$18.6bn.

The tax collector also embarked on chasing third parties such as taxpayers’ debtors and gaining access into all regulatory authorities’ database to get names and trading data.

Regulatory bodies were directed to submit names of their newly registered clients to ZIMRA and would then make follow-ups on these clients.

 “I am proud to announce that ZIMRA collected a total of ZWL$23,19bn in duties and other taxes for the year ending December 31,2019 against a target of ZWL$18.6bn.  So, when I talk about surpluses, ZIMRA is at the core of it,” Ncube said Monday at the commemoration of the International Customs Day in the capital.

Government is heavily reliant on tax collections due to the lack of budgetary support from the donor community, but growth in the informal sector has resulted in many businesses operating outside the tax collectors’ radar.

ZIMRA has intensified its fight against corruption. The rampant corruption, mostly blamed on ZIMRA officials at entry points, had hit ZIMRA’s capacity to deliver.

It is estimated Zimbabwe lost more than ZWL$2bn last year to smuggling at the country’s entry points and tax evasion.

Last year, ZIMRA launched the country’s biggest tax dragnet to swoop on tax evaders, estimated then to be more than 70% of the country’s registered taxpayers, after the expiry of a government-sanctioned grace period for tax dodgers to pay up.

ZIMRA was owed more than ZWL$4bn last year in unpaid taxes by thousands of companies. And the tax collector descended heavily on tax dodgers after the expiry of the moratorium.

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