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» » Zimra seeks better relations with business

Shingirai Vambe

HARARE- Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner general Faith Mazani last week addressed members of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) on tax policy, saying businesses were free to engage the taxi authority to negotiate simpler payment terms.
She said out of 300 registered tax payers, only an estimated 40 percent was fully complying with their tax obligations.
She encouraged everybody to pay their taxes, saying she was however well-aware of Zimra’s own shortcomings in such areas as the inefficiency of some systems, poor public relations and corruption at the borders.
“Yes many have criticised me for being stern on the issue of penalties, but we have resolved to start afresh and give people a breather so that they can come on their own and prepare a payment plan which is flexible to them,” Mazani said.
Stakeholders raised serious concerns with the system of engaging whistle-blowers, saying the practice was in a way damaging whatever goodwill that existed between Zimra and taxpayers.
ZNCC Harare branch chairperson, Mike Makamure said whistle-blowing was now a full time occupation for some people whom he alleged had formed unethical collaborations with Zimra insiders to share information.
Zimra pays 10 percent to any whistle-blower who gives critical information leading to the recovery of tax money and custom duty from evaders and smugglers.
“I urge all those in business to go and engage Zimra, create partnerships and if there is any query, contact us immediately. We encourage registered tax payers to comply with tax policies and, if possible, come forward and talk to us before whistle-blowers pounce,” said Mazani.
She emphasised that everyone regardless of position in society was required to pay tax and custom duties as per the law. She said some people were in the habit of abusing their political connectedness and powerful offices to avoid paying duty at the border.

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