BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has set up a specialised unit responsible for following up on informal sector companies, as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as the tax collector steps up efforts to widen its revenue base.
In March this year, Zimra acting commissioner-general Regina Chinamasa revealed that a significant number of firms were hiding in the informal sector to avoid paying taxes.
As such, the national tax collector has set up a specialised unit responsible for following up on companies in the informal sector and MSMEs.
The central bank estimates that the informal sector has as much as US$1,5 billion being transacted within that market.
“The strategy of the team is to carry out door-to-door visits to informal, micro and medium enterprises to verify their tax compliance position,” Zimra head of corporate communications Francis Chimanda revealed in email responses.
“Where taxpayers do not qualify to be treated as informal traders, these will be registered like any other formal companies so that they prepare books of accounts and submit tax returns accounting for their tax transactions.”
He said the major role of the MSMEs specialised unit was to carry out registration of new taxpayers who were not on its system, collecting tax debt raised during the door-to-door compliance exercise, carrying out taxpayer education workshops and stakeholder engagements, and mobilising revenue in both local and foreign
The unit’s roles also include maintaining an updated database of MSMEs and their associations, engaging stakeholders, business associations, councils for professionals and agents for purposes of educating them; and monitoring and evaluating the performance of the MSMEs programmes put in place and making recommendations for improvement.
Zimra surpassed its target for cumulative net revenue collections for the first half of the year by 36,84% to $491,49 billion, owing to intensified compliance strategies.
The cumulative net revenue collections went up from an initial target of $359,16 billion for the first half by about 84% from $195,17 billion at the end of the comparative 2021 period.
The organisation said due to this performance it expected to surpass its net revenue collection target of $809,4 billion by year end.