Zimra board’s tenure extended

By Farayi Machamire

The tenure of office for the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has been extended by six months following its expiry in June 2018. This was revealed by the Zimra board chair, Willia Bonyongwe, in a revenue performance report for the first half of the year ended June 30, 2018.

ZIMRA acting Commissioner General Mr Happiness Kuzvinzwa addresses journalists during a media workshop at a Bulawayo hotel.
ZIMRA acting Commissioner General Mr Happiness Kuzvinzwa addresses journalists during a media workshop at a Bulawayo hotel.

“…The positive 2018 first half performance is reported at a time when the Zimra board’s term has been extended by the statutory six months following its expiry in June 2018,” she said.

“Despite the challenges in the operating environment, which have affected revenue mobilisation, the positive performance remains highly encouraging and carries bright prospects for an equally positive second half”.

This comes after the tax authority performed above expectations in the first half of the year, with gross collections reaching $2,41 billion against the targeted $2,10 billion, surpassing the set target by 15,09 percent.

After deducting refunds of US$98,88 million for the first half, net collections stood at US$2,31 billion, translating to 10,37 percent above the budgeted $2,10 billion.

Net revenue collections improved by 35,94 percent from the $1,70 billion realised during the first half of 2017, owing to an improvement in the operating environment.

Bonyongwe said key positives during the period under review included consistent implementation of revenue enhancement strategies.

“…The positive 2018 first half performance is reported at a time when the Zimra board’s term has been extended by the statutory six months following its expiry in June 2018,” she said.

“Despite the challenges in the operating environment, which have affected revenue mobilisation, the positive performance remains highly encouraging and carries bright prospects for an equally positive second half,” Bonyongwe said.

She added that the major contributors to revenue were excise duty (19 percent), net value added tax (VAT) on local sales (18 percent) and individuals (18 percent).

This was attributed to Zimra’s various revenue enhancement projects, increased use of automation and a resolute stance against corruption.

Bonyongwe said the current inflationary environment and widespread use of plastic and mobile money transactions also enhanced revenue collections in nominal terms, especially for revenue heads such as VAT.

“…The authority will continue to implement planned revenue enhancing measures to maintain the positive performance in the second half of the year. High debt, which remains a major challenge to collections, requires a shift in the way arrears are handled,” she said.

“The authority will also continue to actively engage taxpayers who have defaulted and the ministry of Finance and Economic Development to explore other avenues of resolving the challenges related to the current high debt.”

Bonyongwe said future prospects for the second half of 2018 and revenue projections against anticipated increased business activity look positive.

“H1, 2018 (first half of 2018) collections represent 53,48 percent of the annual target of $4.3 billion. If this trend is to continue, the authority will exceed the 2018 target,” she said.

“The authority projects a growth driven by increased economic activity, the honouring of payment plans by companies that took advantage of the amnesty and continued efforts to encourage voluntary compliance and enforcement activities against delinquent taxpayers.

“With a thrust towards voluntary compliance, the authority will expand taxpayer education and engagement, simplify compliance processes and encourage voluntary disclosure,” Bonyongwe added. DailyNews