Zimra targets tax collection boom

THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is targeting to collect RTGS$9,7 billion in gross revenue by year-end, 80% more than what was achieved last year, driven partly by the controversial Intermediate Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) introduced by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube in October last year.


Gross revenue collections last year totalled RTGS$5,36 billion.

Acting head of corporate communications Inzwirashe Chenai Muwonwa told the Zimbabwe Independent in emailed responses that the taxman was targeting to collect RTGS$9 658 692 393 gross revenue by year-end, even though the level of tax compliance was still low.

“The compliance rate did not improve compared to same period in 2018 which was at 65,4% during first quarter 2018 compared to 24% during the first quarter 2019,” she said.

So far, Zimra has recorded RTGS$2,1 billion revenue collections in the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, a 41,5% jump above RTGS$1,45 billion target for the period.

Net collections were RTGS$1,944 billion.

In a revenue update, Zimra board chair Callisto Jokonya said excise duty, the IMTT — under which a 2% levy on all electronic transactions is charged — and corporate income tax were among the top performing revenue heads.

“Revenue performance for the first quarter of 2019 surpassed the set target in both gross and net terms,” he said.

Compared to a corresponding period in 2018, gross collections grew by 85,13% from RTGS$1,112 billion, he said.
Excise duty collections alone amounted to $565 million against a target of RTGS$242 million, which translates to a positive variance of 133,5%.

Compared to the same period last year, excise duty collections grew by 142% from RTGS$233 million.

Muwonwa, however, said the tax agency was faced with a ballooning debt which stands at US$4,6 billion as at March 31 2019 including penalties and interest. About 80,4 % of the tax debt emanates from the private sector while parastatals and local authorities account for 13,4% and 6,11% respectively.

She said a number of initiatives had been taken to recover the debt and these include follow-ups, payment plans, one-on-one engagements, debt set-offs by the ministry of Finance, refund set-offs, and garnishee orders which are used as a last resort after all the other avenues have failed to yield the desired result.

Meanwhile, Muwonwa said, to date, about 112 887 small to medium enterprises have been registered gradually over the years and the figure increases monthly as registration is continuous.