Oliver Kazunga, Acting Business Editor
BUSINESSES have raised concern over the delays by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to process tax clearance certificates.
The businesses have said the delays have become a perennial concern.
The Association for Business in Zimbabwe (Abuz) has written to the Zimra regional manager Mrs Idah Tawonezvi pointing out that its members were losing productive time due to the delays in processing the certificates.
“Businesses would like to bring to the commissioner of taxes’ attention its concerns, in particular the process of obtaining the tax clearances for the purposes of legal trading in Zimbabwe.
“Businesses have year-in-year-out faced problems in obtaining tax clearances in time. While this challenge existed before the introduction of electronic services platform, the continuous break-down of the on-line Zimra platform has worsened the situation.
“Good productive time is spent on a process which in our our view should administratively be simple,” reads part of the letter dated January 6, 2018.
The business association has also recommended that the issuance of tax clearance should begin at least three months before the end of the year.
The association said Zimra should work with businesses to ensure they resume normal trade as quickly as possible to enable them to honour their tax obligations.
“Zimra should change their approach from a penalty driven collection to a compliance driven collection.”
An official from the Matabeleland Chamber of Industries who preferred not to be named said their members in Matabeleland were also struggling to get tax clearances adding that this has been the norm at the beginning of each year.
“We have also tried to engage Zimra over the matter but the challenge remains,” said the official. Efforts to get a comment from Zimra spokesperson Mr Canisio Mudzimu were fruitless as he had not responded to written questions by time of going to print.