Zimra reneges on interest to bakers

Shakeman Mugari

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has dithered on its earlier promise to pay interest on the outstanding Value Added Tax (Vat) refunds owed to bakers.

=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Zimra, which owes more than $30 billion to members of the Zimbabwe Bakers’ Association in unpaid Vat refunds, had earlier promised that it would pay the amount with interest at the bank-lending rate.

The chairman of the National Bakers’ Association of Zimbabwe Armitage Chikwavira said Zimra had reneged on its earlier pledge to pay the outstanding amounts with interest.

“Zimra is only paying the principal amount they owe to the bakers,” Chikwavira said this week.

“Realising that they had delayed making Vat refunds to the bakers, Zimra had promised that they would pay the arrears with interest. This they haven’t done.”

Zimra is required to pay interest on any refunds that are done outside the 60-day cut-off period.

Chikwavira said the industry was making attempts to recover the interest and the principal amounts.

“We are going to approach Zimra and the government as part of efforts to recover the interest,” he said.

Zimra had not responded to questions sent to them at the time of going to press.

The Vat tax system, introduced in January this year, has run into serious problems in the last few months.