The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is optimistic that it will surpass this year’s $3,4 billion revenue target on the back of measures that the authority has put in place to enhance revenue collections.
These measures include increasing the tax base through registration of new taxpayers; awareness campaigns to empower taxpayers with information about their rights and obligations under fiscal laws as a way of promoting voluntary tax compliance.
The tax collector will also put in place revenue enhancement measures, such as intensified risk-based audits, a crackdown on taxpayers in order to recover debt, automation and the fight against corruption to achieve the set target.
To buttress this, Zimra is garnishing accounts of tax evaders who were persuaded to pay debts but took too long to repay. The tax evaders will be tracked back as far as six years ago.
The authority has been consistently exceeding revenue collection targets since the beginning of the year except for April and June due to fluctuating mineral prices on the international market and the reduction of the rate of mining royalties on platinum.
Zimra head of corporate communications Canisio Mudzimu, told Business Weekly that the revenue collector has a potential of reaching $6 billion yearly if the aforementioned measures are fully implemented.
“Zimra has put in place robust strategies to enhance revenue collections and these measures are reviewed from time to time in response to changes in the economic environment.
“Zimra is, thus, confident of surpassing the 2017 revenue target, which stands at $3,4 billion. As you are aware, the authority has been consistently exceeding revenue collection targets since the beginning of the year and cumulative revenue collections for the period January to September 2017 were above target by 5,93 percent,” said Mr Mudzimu.
He said high revenue performance is also a function of the Gross Domestic Product and other economic fundamentals.
Zimra is implementing a battery of measures to ensure that the 2017 revenue target is surpassed.
They revenue measures include fighting corruption, smuggling, tax evasion and all forms of underhand dealings, carrying out compliance checks, audits and borderline patrols to verify compliance with fiscal laws.
Also, Zimra automation system will improve convenience to the tax paying public and curbing transit fraud through the Electronic Cargo Tracking System, which monitors movement of transit cargo from point of entry to point of exit.
The Tax collector is rolling out programmes that foster compliance, such as fiscalisation which requires all Value Added Tax (VAT) registered operators to install fiscal devices and connect them to the Zimra server for real-time monitoring of business transactions.
Zimra has boosted revenue collections from the formal sector through a fiscalisation project in which businesses use fiscal tax registers that capture financial information and relay it in real time to tax authorities.
However, SMEs have largely remained outside this dragnet and there is a growing push to ensure all businesses start paying tax.
According to Zimra, 19 414 SMEs had registered with the revenue collector by the end of October, compared to 14 000 in June.
Available figures show that at June 30, 2017, just 5 080 of these had installed fiscal tax registers.