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Zimra cracks whip

Roadwin Chirara/Itai Dzamara

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has intensified a crackdown on public and private companies accused of perennial tax evasion, it has emerged.

T face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The Zimbabwe Independent heard this week that Zimra had been ordered by the authorities to also widen investigations into alleged tax scams involving Zimra officials linked to state-owned and private enterprises.

Zimra spokesperson Priscilla Sadomba confirmed this week that the revenue authority had set aside huge sums of money as an incentive for whistle blowers on tax-related crimes.

“We are calling for informers (to provide information) leading to the identification of companies that have been evading tax. If your information leads to the recovery of tax or duty, you will receive 10% of whatever is recovered,” said Sadomba.

“During the first half of this year we have paid $108 million to whistle blowers.”

Zimra, working together security agencies, said it expected to recover huge sums of money from wayward companies and individuals after indications that there was complicity with some of its officials to evade tax.

The tax evaders are members of both the private and public sectors, Zimra added.

Zimra said investigations started last year and it had paid $127 million to whistle blowers to date.

Although Sadomba could not comment on recovery figures, it is understood that Zimra has so far raised over $1 billion from companies and institutions, including sports associations that had avoided paying tax for years.

Sources at Zimra said only small enterprises, mainly indigenous-owned, had so far been identified and forced to pay. In the case of companies that had failed to pay, Zimra had attached properties.

Zimra has issued an order requiring the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to pay $285 million in outstanding taxes.

On Wednesday Zifa had its property seized by the Master of the High Court for allegedly failing to settle an $85 million bill with a local hotel.

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