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Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni yesterday said small enterprises are willing to pay tax to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority like other businesses. In an interview during a tour of Siyaso home industries in Mbare, Minister Nyoni said her ministry had engaged Zimra and SMEs over the matter.

“Zimra was invited by us as a ministry of SMEs. The SMEs want to pay tax like other Zimbabweans. They are ready and willing to pay tax. All they want is to be treated like businesspeople.

“Informal sector is business, and the business must pay its obligation and abide by the law,” she said.

“We have trained and discussed with them but what we do not want is local authorities, Zimra and other barons short-changing SMEs and the informal sector.

“We now want the local authorities and Zimra to get their dues fairly but what I am refusing on their behalf is for them to be raided or swindled without proper discussion with them and without proper allocation of workspace.”

Minister Nyoni said she has since approached Zimra requesting that it comes up with a system that will allow the SMEs to pay tax without ‘feeling the pain’.

She urged SMEs to have a business mindset. In January Zimra announced that it will start taxing SMEs to widen the revenue base.

“Our thrust this year is to start collections from the small to medium enterprises. We are currently working on an invoicing system that will help us with audits for this particular sector,” said Zimra acting commissioner general Tjiyapo Velempini.

Sanctions-induced economic hardships have seen firms closing and most unemployed people turning to the informal sector for survival.

Source : The Herald

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