Zimra surpasses revenue target in Q1

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HARARE – The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) collected $1, 13 billion in the first quarter of 2018, surpassing  its revenue target by 8 percent, an official has said.

The above expected performance was testimony to an improving operating  environment and contribution of the automation of services by the tax  collector, board chairperson, Willia Bonyongwe said.

In the first quarter of 2017, Zimra collected $862 million. Bonyongwe  however sounded alarm bells on the mounting unpaid tax dues, which  increased by $284 million during the quarter to $4, 23 billion.

“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 source of government revenue for its day to day functions.

Bonyogwe said the debt was likely to go up given on-going tax audits by  Zimra while urging taxpayers to take advantage of the tax amnesty, which  expires at the end of June.

“Tax payers should take hid 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  chaired Zimra board has seen through the launch of the cargo tracking  system, upgrading of the authority’s core system known as ASYCUDA and  enhanced use of the e-service system. – New Ziana

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