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Zimra registers 21 643 new tax payers

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) says a total of 21 643 enterprises were registered as new tax payers in the year 2020 as the Government’s efforts to widen revenue collection bear fruit.

The tax authority managed to collect annual net revenue of ZW$181,96 billion against the target of ZW$171,9 billion last year, representing 5,85 percent above target.

This result presented a real growth of 74,93 percent compared to 2019 collections after adjusting for inflation, said the tax authority.

In a strategic performance summary report presented to stakeholders during the Zimra annual general meeting that was held virtually last Thursday, Acting Commissioner General, Mr Rameck Masaire, said widening the tax base was critical towards oiling national development.

“The authority continued with its drive of broadening the tax base through new registrations. Active taxpayer education and engagement programmes implemented resulted in 21 643 new registrants in 2020,” said Mr Masaire.

“These new taxpayers contributed ZWL$558,2 million (19,48 percent) against a target of $218,7 million.

“Management also enhanced the project on integration of databases between Government agencies to facilitate registration in sync with the Government`s thrust of widening the tax base.”

Despite the dampening impact of Covid-19 pandemic in the broader economy, he said the positive net revenue milestone recorded in year 2020 presented a real growth of 74,93 percent compared to 2019 collections after adjusting for inflation.
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However, experts say the bulk of the informal sector, which has become a dominant player in the economy, still operates outside of the tax bracket, emphasising the need to scale up the formalisation process to harness untapped revenue.

Regarding this, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, has said Zimbabwe possesses maximum potential to collect revenues, in particular, considering the untapped potential concealed in various policies that still require full implementation.

Mrs Josephine Matambo
Commenting on the ease of doing business, Mr Masaire said enhancing the convenience and safety of the tax paying public continued to be a top priority.

The authority has fully embraced the digital age hence it is implementing different platforms for tax payers to interact and transact with Zimra, most notably, the adoption of the electronic cargo manifest system to facilitate an efficient and effective way of clearing commercial traffic. This has helped to ease congestion at the border posts, said Mr Masaire.

In her remarks, Zimra acting board chairperson, Mrs Josephine Matambo, said the enhancement of the lockdown to level 4 early this year was a sign that there could be a protracted negative impact of Covid-19 to business operations.
However, she said the bumper harvest received this year and the continued stabilisation of the foreign exchange rate through the foreign exchange auction platform was expected to inject growth in the economy.
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Already Treasury has estimated the economy would close the year at about 7,8 percent growth, above regional and global average estimates. Mrs Matambo said as Zimra they expect the growth to translate into a corresponding growth in tax revenues.

“Zimra is committed to leverage on these positive developments to drive its revenue growth agenda.

Efforts will be made to upgrade our tax systems in order to provide secure access to information on a continuous basis,” she said.

As part of its transformative approaches, Mrs Matambo said, Zimra was focused on 12 key strategic projects with the intention of broadening the tax base, plugging revenue leakages, fighting corruption, managing the tax debt and improving client service.

These have been technically prioritised and include; the acquisition of a new domestic taxes IT system, upgrading the automation of identified manual internal processes, integration of Zimra IT systems with identified external systems, establishing a central contact centre and construction of dry ports to decongest the borders.

The authority is also pursuing acquisition and operationalisation of drones for border surveillance, improving staff accommodation and offices as well as acquisition of state-of-the-art modern servers and setting up of a centralised data centre with the capacity to handle and store a lot of data. -chronice.c.zw

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