Home » Industry » Blow for Govt As Zimra Misses Tax Target

COMPANY closures, retrenchments and a liquidity crunch caused the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to miss its revenue collection target for the first half.

The taxman collected $1.72bn, which was lower than a target of $1.74bn.

“Most of the revenue was realised from value added tax, individual taxes and excise duty which contributed 26%, 25% and 14% respectively”, said Gershem Pasi, commissioner-general at Zimra.

Zimra’s subdued performance will put pressure on the administration of President Robert Mugabe which is under growing pressure to take measures to revive the economy.

The shortfall is not good news for Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who last month said the government ran a “cash budget” and depended on Zimra’s revenue collections to meet its pay obligations, which include paying 230,000 public servants.

Mining royalties exceeded targets of $77.7m and raked in $112.6m, a 45% increase. Zimra said $45m was set off against outstanding mining royalties.

JSE-listed Impala Platinum’s unit in Zimbabwe, Zimplats is among more than 10 companies which have approached the Fiscals Court of Appeal after garnishee orders were allegedly instituted against them by the taxman.

Pasi said garnishee orders were only used as a “last resort” for “truant and noncompliant clients”, and was not the modus operandi of Zimra in collecting revenue.

Customs duty realised one of the biggest slumps of 29% in revenue and raked in $137m against a target of $194.5m.

Zimra noted that though individual taxes had increased, the scaling down of operations by companies and retrenchments had affected revenue collections.

“The anticipated positive boost of indirect taxes from retrenchment packages is not realised as retrenching companies struggle to pay the retrenchees, while those receiving their packages prefer to save or invest, rather than spend”, said Pasi.

Higher tobacco production of more than 200-million kilograms this year also boosted revenue from the tobacco levy which contributed $9.8m against a target of $8.8m.

Source : New Zimbabwe