Zimra garnishes over $150m on bank accounts

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Livingstone Marufu
The ZIMBABWE Revenue Authority has garnished over $150 million on the bank accounts of companies and individuals since January this year over tax evasion and failure to settle their obligations with the revenue collector.
A source close to Zimra said the revenue collector, which has been spiritedly making efforts to encourage tax payers to pay their dues to the taxman, had issued garnishee orders on at least 100 bank accounts over the last six months.
Comparatively, South African Revenue Services garnished between 4 000 and 8 000 bank accounts monthly in the same period.
It is believed that these garnishee orders played a significant role in enabling Zimra to surpass its monthly revenue targets. A highly placed source told Business Weekly that: “We are happy that Zimra’s cocktail of measures are bearing fruit in surpassing monthly targets and the issuance of garnishee orders is playing a pivotal role in outstripping the target.
“There are several hundreds of garnished bank accounts, valued between $150 million and $200 million in the first six months of 2017. Although it has introduced cargo tracking and voluntary tax compliance, garnishee orders are still critical to Zimra’s tax collections.”
However, Zimra was diplomatic about its stellar revenue performance, saying new tax collection methods helped it exceed revenue targets.
“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s efforts to improve the level of voluntary tax compliance in the country are bearing fruits as shown by the surpassing of revenue targets for the first half of 2017 and for the month of July 2017.
“Compliance levels have increased as clients are negotiating for payment terms to liquidate old tax debt while honouring current tax obligations.
“To this end, the limited use of garnishee orders is done only as a last resort to collect outstanding taxes when all other efforts, such as payment plans or adherence to agreed payment terms, have failed,” said Zimra in e-mailed response.
Zimra also carried out compliance checks, audits and site visits to verify whether all clients were paying their taxes and duties on time and in full in accordance with regulations.

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