By Phil Chichoni
While government keeps on shouting about easing the business environment to attract foreign investors, Zimra seems eager push in the opposite direction.
Zimbabwe is already ranked 180 out of 189 economies, according the World Bank Group doing Business 2015 rankings (http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/zimbabwe/). The report states that it takes 14 days to register a business with the tax authorities.
All that has now changed. Zimra has just added another week. Earlier this week (16 September, I think), Zimra introduced a new procedure. When one wants to open a bank account, they must have a bank tax clearance note from Zimra. This used to be given over the counter at the Zimra offices. Now you cannot simply get this note over the account.
Here is the new procedure
a) Write a letter applying for the bank tax clearance note.
b) Make photocopies of the company documents, i.e. certificate of incorporation, CR6, CR14, get them certified as true copies by a commissioner of oaths.
c) Take the letter, together with the certified copies plus the original documents to Zimra
d) Zimra will take the certified copies to the Registrar of Companies’ office to confirm the authenticity of the documents.
e) If everything is valid, you then collect your bank tax clearance after a week.
So in now takes at least three weeks to register with Zimra. This is before we consider hitches that may happen at the Companies office. (If you are in the business that involves document searches at the Companies Office, you will now that a good number of files you request for will not be found immediately. For example, a file that someone has searched for will take at least a week to be put back into the filing system)
This will be more frustrating to those who want to start businesses quickly.
Well, for tax consultants, that is a bonus, more business for them.
What do you think?
Phil Chichoni is the publisher of BusinessLink Magazine #chichonip
Visit http://smebusinesslink.com/magazine to get a copy