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ZIMRA recovers $296m in anti-corruption blitz

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) recovered $296 million under its anticorruption crusades last year, ZIMRA Acting Commissioner General Rameck Masaire has said.

Mr Masaire said $38 million was recovered under the whistleblower category. He also said $3,8 million was paid to whistle blowers for the 98 cases reported by 67 individuals.

ZIMRA is implementing inward and outward measures, Mr Masaire said, to plug revenue leakages and these included integrity management, anti-corruption crusades, whistle blower facility, anti-tax evasion and anti-smuggling measures.

He told the revenue collector’s fourth annual general meeting (AGM) that: “The Authority is aggressively using Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act to seize and attach properties acquired through fraudulent means.”

The initiatives come as the authority has increased its focus and implementation of the five year strategy to 2023 which among other objectives seeks to see restoration of fiscal balance through improvements in tax collections, plugging loopholes as well as improving ease of doing business.

These initiatives are also in support of the country’s economic blueprint, the National development Strategy (NDS1) which is a roadmap to restoration of confidence in the economy as well as its eventual growth. The economy is seen transforming into an upper middle income economy by 2030.

ZIMRA’s loss control team, police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and other law enforcing agencies have been on special operations to curb, for instance smuggling involving motor vehicle imports through the abuse of Customs Clearance Certificates.

Treasury has also commented on efforts being carried out aimed at plugging revenue leakages, eradicating corruption, improving service delivery and harnessing technology that promotes ZIMRA’s core business.

Among the key measures, strict implementation of the Electronic Cargo Tracking System, as well as full automation of ZIMRA systems, have been identified as key in eliminating transit fraud and other revenue leakages associated with physical interface with taxpayers.

Meanwhile, ZIMRA anticipates increased revenue collections, ahead of targets spurred by increased economic activity as the country implements NDS1. For 2021, it projects to surpass the net annual revenue target of $387,4 billion.

“We foresee the economy improving as a result of NDS1. Improvements in the economy directly translates to improvement in revenue collected by the authority,” said Mr Masaire.

For the financial year 2020, the authority had a surplus of $187 million compared to a loss of $101 million.

Net revenue collected totalled $181 billion against a target of $171 billion. The top three revenue performers remained companies accounting for 19,7 percent followed by individuals at 15,3 percent and excise duty at 14,19 percent.

In terms of sector contributions, mining and quarrying was the top performer accounting for 23 percent while followed by finance and insurance at 19 percent while manufacturing was the third at 15 percent.-herald.clz.w

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