HomeBusiness DigestClamp down on vehicle duty fraud

Clamp down on vehicle duty fraud

Roadwin Chirara

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has taken over the vehicle registration role from the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) in an effort to curb duty fraud.

e=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The move is part of Zimra’s efforts to clamp down on duty fraud and corruption.

There has been extensive revenue leakage especially in imported cars.

This has led to serious concern from the revenue authority over the continued influx of luxury cars whose duty records could not be accounted for.

Sources say government found the move necessary due to the continued trends in duty fraud that had witnessed luxury cars entering the country and being registered without paying duty.

In some cases the importers were under-valuing imports, leading to the state being prejudiced of billions of dollars in foreign currency.

The move, according to insiders, should result in Zimra being transformed into a data capture and record-keeping centre for the country’s vehicles.

Zimra spokesperson Priscilla Sadomba said the move had been necessitated by the authority’s need to minimise its losses through cars that were being registered without paying the required duty.

“As pointed out, the main thrust of bringing the authority on board is to minimise fraudulent registration of vehicles without paying the necessary duties and taxes,” she said.

Sadomba said Zimra would continue to oversee the function of checking vehicles while the ZRP would still clear imported vehicles.

“The new system is not totally different from the old one,” Sadomba said.

“The CVR will continue as the custodian of the data and the municipalities will continue to deal with the issue of changes of ownership and licencing.”

The move comes after Zimra instituted investigations on vehicle importers after receiving reports that some of them were evading duty for cars they were into the country leading to the setting up of a whistle blower fund as a contingency measure.

Zimra was formed following the incorporation of the departments of taxes and customs.

The tax-collecting institution is also understood to have confiscated more than 25 luxury vehicles that did not have clear domcumentation.

Some of the vehicles are understood to belong to individuals who have since fled the coutnry for the diaspora.

They include Mercedes Benz, BMW, Pajeros and Toyota Lexus, among the most expensive vehicles in the world.

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