THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has surpassed its revenue target by 8,5%, collecting $1,789 billion for the first half of the year, from a target of $1,656 billion, which has been attributed to enhanced revenue collection initiatives implemented during the period.
During the corresponding period last year, Zimra collected $1,55 billion.
In a statement yesterday, Zimra chairperson, Willia Bonyongwe said the revenue collection enhancement measures, such as automation, audits and anti-corruption initiatives that Zimra is implementing are bearing fruit.
“Revenue collections have surpassed revenue targets during the first half of 2017 and this is the right direction and good progress,” she said.
“We commend management and staff for this achievement. However, the Zimra board believes that the measures in place should increase compliance.
“Meanwhile, officers should redouble their efforts, as motor traders in the CBD and major shopping centres are yet to comply.”
In the period under review, the major performing tax heads were company tax, dividends, fees, interest and remittances, customs duty, exercise duty and mining royalties.
Bonyongwe said gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate was revised to 3,7%, meaning the projected revenue target is now $3,4 billion for 2017.
She said with an increased level of economic performance, expensive cars on the country’s roads and more construction being carried out, the authority could easily collect $6 billion if everyone paid taxes.
“It is with this in mind that the fight against tax corruption continues unabated,” Bonyongwe said.
“I feel I need to comment on the topical issue of lifestyle audits. First, Zimra has always done lifestyle audits on members of the public, the fact is Zimra deals confidentially with taxpayers and unless the taxpayers themselves go public, no one would ever know.
“It is a strategy used globally by all tax authorities and it will not stop.
“However, there is always room to improve upon the way they are done and Zimra is open to suggestions, people need to have a culture of paying taxes, then there are no problems.”
In the period under review, company tax revenue grew by 47,9% to $214,27 million from $144,87 million collected in 2016. Dividends, fees, interest and remittances revenue grew by 16,82% to $31,38 million.
Customs duty grew by 3,04% to $139,73 million, value added tax (Vat) on local sales increased by 24,44% to $411,01 million. Vat on imports grew by 10,94% to $188,6 million from $170,01 million in 2016. Exercise duty grew by 1,71% to $319,08 million from $313,17 million in 2016, while mining royalties grew by 22,84% to $34,27 million.
The least performers were individual tax, which declined by 2,35% to $347,41 million from $355,77 million in 2016 and withholding tax contracts, which went down by $10,26% to $36,48 million from $40,65 million in 2016.
Also read: Chinamasa presents ‘empty’ budget review