The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has a facility for rewarding private individuals who choose to participate in plugging of revenue leakages through tax and duty evasion The whistleblower facility rewards legitimate informants who provide information that result in the recovery of revenue which would otherwise have been lost if the information had not been given.
This facility was established through Section 34B of the Revenue Authority Act (Chapter 23:11) in 2001.
The administration of the facility was enhanced following the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 150 of 2020 on 26 June 2020 to regulate the administration of the rewards.
Eligibility to Report
- Any person who is not an employee of the Authority or member of the Revenue Authority Board
- Any person who is not a near relative of an employee of the Authority or a member of the Revenue Authority Board
• In this section (Section 34B of the Revenue Act section (1) “near relative” means—
• a lineal ascendant of an individual, including a step-father or stepmother; or
• a child or a lineal descendant of an individual other than a child; or
• a brother, half-brother, step-brother, sister, half-sister, step-sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece of an individual; or
• the adopter or adopters of an individual; or
• the spouse of a relative of an individual referred to in paragraphs (a) to (d).
- The person should not have obtained the information in the exercise of his/her official duties as an employee of the Authority or member of the Revenue Board.
- The person should not have obtained the information from an ineligible person for the purposes of avoiding rejection of a claim.
Information not eligible for a reward
- Already in the public domain at the time it is reported, for example, in the press, on the internet or any other public online domains.
- Obtained from a government report, hearing, audit or investigation including audits done by or on behalf of the Auditor General.
- Already in the custody of the Zimra Commissioner-General.
- Obtained by State employees or consultants hired by the State or any board member appointed by the State during the course of their official duties.
Determination of reward
The reward granted to a person for the supply and successful use of original information submitted for the purposes of section 34B (2) of the Act shall be at a rate of ten per centum of the revenue actually recovered. The term revenue refers to the principal liability established and does not include penalties, interest, fines and forfeitures to the State.
Conditions for Payment
A reward for the supply of information submitted to the Revenue Authority is paid to the person making a claim subject to satisfaction with the following conditions:
- Information reported for a reward by an eligible person was done through completion of form RFI 1 which is prescribed in the second schedule to Statutory Instrument 150 of 2020.
- The information on which the reward is based was submitted to Revenue Authority under penalty of perjury;
- The original information supplied contributed directly to the revenue actually recovered;
- The payment of the reward is funded from proceeds of revenue actually recovered;
N.B: Where the taxpayer is disputing the liability established; no reward will be paid until such a dispute has been resolved even if Zimra may have taken measures to recover the tax.
Zimra undertakes to protect the identity of the informants at all times as provided for in the secrecy provisions of the Revenue Authority Act. The following measures are in place to protect the identity of the whistle-blower and integrity of the facility:
- All Zimra employees are bound by the Oath of Secrecy in terms of Section 34 A of the Revenue Authority Act not to disclose whistle-blower details.
- Central and secure point for interface with informants i.e. Office of the Commissioner Revenue Assurance
- Investigators of the cases have no access to origin of the information
- No interface between the whistle-blower and the investigators
Important Information to Note
1. General information, hearsay or speculations, which do not prove specific violations of the Revenue Acts, the tax heads involved and the period of the offence, are not accepted for reward purposes.
2. Cases are not accepted if the information pertains to a case already under investigation by Zimra.
3. The provision of false information or misrepresentation by informants is an offence which attracts a fine not exceeding level seven or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or both such fine and such imprisonment. Potential whistle-blowers are strongly advised against abusing the facility to settle personal vendettas.
4. It should be noted that where one intends to benefit from the whistle-blower facility, the information furnished to Zimra should not have been reported to any other law enforcement agencies first such as Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), National Economic Conduct Inspectorate (NECI), and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).
Whistleblowing Under COVID-19
In support of the Government of Zimbabwe’s thrust to contain and mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic whistle-blowers are encouraged to lodge their reports on the email address [email protected] and to contact the whistle blower office on Telephone No. (0242) 750126
COVID 19 is real. Always remember to sanitise, wash your hands with water and soap. Stay safe.
My Taxes, My Duties: Building my Zimbabwe!!
This article was compiled by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for information purposes only. Zimra shall not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from use of material in this article and no liability will attach to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
To contact Zimra:
WhatsApp line: +263 782 729 862
Visit our website: www. zimra.co.zw
Follow us on Twitter: @Zimra_11
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ZIMRA.ZW
Send us an e-mail: [email protected]/[email protected]
Call us (Head Office): 0242 –758891/5; 790813; 790814; 781345; 751624; 752731