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New levy for cross-border traders

Lucia Makamure/Jesilyn Dendere

THE government has introduced a levy to be paid by cross-border traders for importing commercial goods.

According to the latest Government Ga

, the tax was introduced through an amendment to the Income Tax Act and is effective from January 1.

“Whenever a cross-border trader imports any commercial goods into Zimbabwe, he or she shall pay an officer of the department of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) concerned a presumptive tax of such percentage of the value for duty purposes of the commercial goods concerned as is fixed from time to time in the Charging Act,” reads the amendment.

Presumptive tax is tax based on notional or estimated business income.

According to the amendment, an informal cross-border trader was described as a person who imports commercial goods into the country with the intention of carrying on any trade in those goods without a tax clearance certificate or proof of registration as a taxpayer in terms of the Income Tax Act.

Cross-border traders can only be exempted from paying the levy if they produce to Zimra a tax clearance certificate to the effect that they have furnished a return under Section 37 or proof that they are registered taxpayers in terms of the Income Tax Act.

Cross-border traders will be issued with tax clearance certificates after paying the levy.

“Where an informal cross-border trader has paid any amount of presumptive tax the officer concerned shall furnish the informal cross-border trader with the appropriate tax clearance certificate,” the amendment reads.

Where no payment of presumptive tax is made Zimra shall treat the commercial goods in question as if they were goods in respect of which no due entry has been made in terms of the Customs and Excise Act.

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