HARARE- The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) collected 1.13 billion US dollars in the first quarter of 2018, surpassing its revenue target by 8.0 per cent, says Zimra Board Chairperson Willia Bonyongwed.
The performance was testimony to an improving operating environment and contribution of the automation of services by the tax collector, she said here Monday. In the first quarter of 2017, Zimra collected 862 million USD.
Bonyongwe, however, sounded the alarm bells over the mounting unpaid tax dues, which increased by 284 million USD during the quarter to 4.23 billion USD. Despite the positive performance (in collections), high debt continues to downplay the authority's efforts to enhance revenue collections, she said.
High level discussions are on-going for public enterprises debt and for set-offs where government owes the private sector.
Zimra is the biggest contributor of government revenue for its day-to-day operations.
Bonyogwe said the debt was likely to go up given on-going tax audits by Zimra. She urged taxpayers to take advantage of the tax amnesty, which expires at the end of June.
Tax payers should take heed of the amnesty because then, they will not pay the penalty and the interest component as per legislation, she said.
During the period, value added tax, excise duty and individual tax remained the biggest contributors to revenues.
Bonyongwe said the authority would continue to forge ahead with implementation of fiscalisation and automation of its systems. Information Communication Technology is the driver of revenue collection and it is necessary that Zimra gets adequate resources to complete its processes, she said.
The fight against corruption and automation were also critical in widening the tax base, she said. During its tenure, which expires at the end of June, the Bonyongwe-led Zimra board has seen through the launch of a cargo-tracking system, upgrading of the authority's core system and enhanced use of the e-service system.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK