Home » Governance » Zimra Fails to Collect Over U.S $1 Billion in Taxes

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has failed to collect over $1 billion in taxes since 2009 and if it had not opted for voluntary compliance many companies would have folded operations. Speaking at an Ernst amp Young Tax Seminar yesterday, ZIMRA Commissioner Direct Taxes Mr George Chiradza saidthe authority had tried to maintain strategic relationships with it clients.

According to the latest audit report on Government finances, the outstanding revenue Zimra had not collected amounted to $508 224 725 as at December 31, 2013, with over $240 million representing debts outstanding as far back as 2009.

Mr Chiradza said this figure has since grown to $1 billion.

He said in a bid to collect the money ZIMRA has employed a number of interventions ranging from a tax collection blitz and tax amnesty among other issues.

He said the intention as of now is to promote revenue base growth at the same time minimising cost of collections and reducing debt.

“We have missed our revenue targets in the last two years, that is why our approach now entails promoting companies through the tax amnesty which has since been extended to December this year,” he said.

Mr Chiradza said companies should not focus more on tax incentives as they may not be the sustaining factors of the economy.

He said ZIMRA is also working with the ministry responsible for Small to Medium Enterprises to explore how such enterprises can contribute to the country’s taxing system.

Meanwhile, Government has engaged the Swedish National Audit Office to provide specialised auditing skills to State institutions in order to promote financial accountability in the public sector.

Head of Fiscal Policy and Investment Promotion in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Dr Desire Sibanda told the same seminar that State auditing firms such as the Auditor-General’s Office and ZIMRA currently focus mainly on compliance and find it difficult to manage complex tax accounts, a skill which the SNAO has.

“The Swedish National Audit office is a specialised auditing entity that focuses not only on compliance but manages complex accounts.

“They used to provide us this service through a grant before the frosty relations with the European Union in 2002. But we are now resuscitating the grant,” he said.

Dr Sibanda said it has been observed that most African mining tax authorities at present do not have requisite skills to audit the complex accounts of large multinationals.

He said Zimbabwe is no exception and it was important that Government embarks on international training of State auditors.

Source : The Herald