By the BusinessLink team
Failure to pay or underpaying your taxes is a serious offence in many
countries. Singer MC Hammer went to jail for it. So did Mike Tyson and
many others across the world.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is intensifying its efforts to enforce
tax laws, which will result in all those who failed to declare taxable
income on any type of transaction facing prosecution. However, the
authority has given Zimbabweans until March 2015 to come out and sort
out any tax irregularities. After that, Zimra will start thorough audits and
if one is caught, they will face the full wrath of the law, including heavy
penalties and possible jail terms. Yes, the Income Tax Act has provisions
for jail terms for certain types of tax offences.
“We had a discussion with the treasury recently. It’s something that we
been proposing. Given where the economy is coming from and what we
went through perhaps we should give a limited amnesty.
“This where we invite the population to say, where you have made
money for whatever deals you did, and you did not pay taxes, we say
come and pay and we will not penalize you for a given time frame,”
Zimra commissioner general Gershem Pasi told the parliamentary
committee on Finance and Economic Development.
He said this would likely bring more money to treasury much sooner
rather than waiting to eventually get to each and every person.
“Thereafter, if we find out that you did not come forward to remit
taxes then we will be ruthless with you,” Pasi added.
He said that Zimra will actively be pursuing tax defaulters in a bid to
meet revenue targets as government is relying on revenue collections to
offset its recurrent expenditure.
We reproduce below the Zimra that was published in the press
recently, and which also appear on the Zimra website:
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) would like to inform its
valued clients that Government has, through the Finance Act (No 2) of
2014 published on 17 October 2014, made provision for an amnesty on
penalties, interest, and prosecution for the non-payment and other
irregularities in connection with all taxes administered by the Authority.
The tax amnesty is in respect of any non-compliance which occurred
during the period beginning 1st February 2009 to 30th September 2014
(the amnesty period).
Affected clients must submit applications on Form No. TAO1 –
which can be downloaded from the ZIMRA website (www.zimra.co.zw) –
to the Commissioner General between the period 1st October 2014 and
31st March 2015.
Issues already covered in completed or on-going audits and
investigations and other enforcement activities by ZIMRA are not
covered by this amnesty.
Applications for tax amnesty should be submitted well in time to
enable the processing by the Commissioner General and time for the
applicant to pay the full amount by not later than 31st March 2015.
ZIMRA would like to urge its valued clients to take full
advantage of this rare opportunity and regularize their tax
Paying taxes and duties on time and in full builds and
Commissioner General Public Notice No 16 of 2014
This article appears in the November issue of BusinessLink magazine, which you can order here.
In the same issue:
- 10 services you can now enjoy in Zimbabwe thanks to PayPal
- How the Tech Revolution Straight Up Bypassed Most Small Businesses
- Teach your children how to get rich
- Creative Marketing Ideas to Make Your Business Stand out
- Critical Thinking Skills: The Missing link in Zimbabwean Managers