THE government will install a tracking system on cross border trucks and major businesses as part of an electronic fiscal revolution to curb leakages and improve revenue collection, a Cabinet minister has said.
Studies have shown that Zimbabwe has lost close to $12 billion since independence in 1980 mainly due to corrupt activities that include tax avoidance and evasion among other illegal commercial transactions.
Tax evasion refers to illegal means to avoid paying taxes involving individuals or corporates misrepresenting their income to tax authorities.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the Senate last Thursday that Treasury, through the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), has adopted the electronic fiscal stance as a viable tool to enhance revenue collection efficiency.
“One of the measures that Zimra is taking is to install what are called electronic fiscal devices. These devices will be installed in businesses of major tax payers at the point of sale,” said Chinamasa.
The point of sale machine, he explained, would be connected in real time to Zimra so that as transactions are being conducted, information on items bought and whether they attract tax or not, whether they’re to be exempted or not, would be availed to authorities.
“All that information in real time will be transmitted to Zimra. That information also with time will be transmitted to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and to the Reserve Bank so that at any one time, Zimra is in a position to calculate on a daily basis what tax has been collected by tax payers throughout Zimbabwe,” said the minister.
Chinamasa said installations of the new electronic devices would start with the major tax payers such as OK and TM supermarkets and extend to all tax payers over time.
“This is primarily to enhance revenue collection,” he said.
The minister said the electronic approach would also focus on key ports of entry such as the Beitbridge Border Post where close-circuit (CCTV) monitors would be put to check activities of those who pass through Zimbabwe and also into the north of Africa.
The drive is expected to minimise corruption and leakages by ensuring transparency and accountability among officers manning such facilities.
Chinamasa said particular surveillance would be directed at trucks that contain goods allegedly destined for Zambia or northern countries, which are being offloaded once they pass the border.
“We’ll also have a tracking system introduced at some point which will track those trucks to make sure that they cross the border, either at Chirundu or Nyamapanda, et cetera,” he said.