Home » Industry » Zimra Boss Speaks on Tax Blitz

THE ongoing tax blitz is neither targeted at individuals nor corporates, but it is the mandatory duty of the tax collector to plug revenue leaks, says Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Commissioner-General Gershem Pasi. He said companies claiming to have closed because of the blitz launched recently have themselves to blame and must inform the public that they were wrong.

“Those companies, which are claiming to have been closed down because of Zimra should also be open enough to say what wrong they have done and should now say that to the public . . . so that at least the public can judge to say who is wrong,” Comm Pasi said.

“Issues of taxation should not be personalised as is happening now. It would be foolhardy for Zimra to want to close companies because we depend on companies not today, not tomorrow, but forever as long as there is a country, there needs to be revenue.”

Comm-Gen Pasi said the blitz sought to check the level of compliance and that the authority was merely fulfilling its mandate in terms of the law.

He said Zimra was aware of cash flow challenges that many firms were facing and aised the struggling firms to engage the tax collector on payments plans.

The latest move by Zimra has attracted widespread criticism amid concerns that the blitz could further cripple the struggling companies in an illiquid environment, a situation that could also trigger more company closures

“So we work hand-in-hand with industry (and) those who have genuine problems we sit down and talk to them. That’s why I’m saying let’s be honest with each other. Our desire is for those companies to grow but should meet their obligations.”

Comm Gen Pasi’s remarks follow a clampdown on State enterprises and parastatals by Zimra to establish their levels of tax compliance.

He said Zimbabweans should learn to be truthful to themselves and to the nation.

This is the first time Comm Pasi has publicly talked about the tax blitz, the tax authority launched a month ago to enhance revenue collections in line with its mandate as enshrined in the Revenue Authority Act [Chapter 23:11] and other subsidiary legislation which the Authority administers.

Zimra uses a number of strategies to ensure that what is due to the State is paid on time and in full.

The strategies are not limited to door-to-door compliance checks and audits.

The impromptu visits also come on the back of reports that some heads of State enterprises and parastatals have been earning mega salaries and allowances, which have raised questions on whether these were being properly taxed and whether the taxes were being remitted to the appropriate authorities.

The tax authority also seeks to ensure that State-linked enterprises whose top management are manipulating records and using political influence to avoid paying taxes are reigned in.

Source : The Herald