By Zvikomborero Parafini
The tax evasion trial of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Church led by Prophet Walter Magaya failed to kick off yesterday for the third time after the defence team applied for a postponement.
Admire Rubaya for the defence told the court that they received a witness statement on Wednesday night yet they had already prepared their defence outline without including that statement hence they required time to study it and receive instructions.
The church was represented by Nelson Marimo.
Regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya conceded to the application and remanded the matter to March 26.
Prosecuting George Manokore is alleging that the church had evaded paying taxes of $28 million.
It is the state’s case that the church raised revenues through its guests at Yadah Hotel, selling holy water and oil as well as church regalia and sometime last year, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority conducted tax investigations at the church upon realization that it was not submitting income returns.
During the search, ZIMRA recovered financial statements belonging to the church dating from 2013 to 2017.
The statements coupled with several other acquired from CBZ showed that the church made sales of over four million between 2013 and 2017, but did not submit income returns to ZIMRA.
The State further alleged that during the same period, the church paid salaries to Magaya’s wife amounting to $950 000 without any tax being deducted while Magaya received over $2 million in salaries without being subjected to PAYE as required by the law.
When asked to produce records of all its goods and services that it sells, the church failed hence violating the Value Added Tax Act. H-Metro