THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has widened the tax net, registering about 13 000 new small to medium enterprises in the six months to June following a successful collaboration with SMEs and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development.
SMEs are regarded as Zimbabwe’s new economy and Zimra offered a moratorium to SMEs in collaboration with the SMEs ministry which expired on June 30. Zimra, however, said a “lot more businesses are not tax compliant and Zimra will continue widening the tax net”.
In a presentation on Re-Igniting SMEs Development in Zimbabwe through Digital Payments Programmes last week Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe deputy director for Financial Markets —National Payment Systems Josephat Mutepfa said 39 percent of MSMEs are served by informal financial service providers. Furthermore, only 18 percent are served by formal financial institutions such as banks and micro finance institutions and 43 percent do not have access to financial services.
The tax authority is also concerned about tax corruption which it said has now become “endemic”. “Fighting corruption begins with me and begins with you and together we can make an impact,” Zimra board chairman Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said.
Mrs Bonyongwe said this in a statement accompanying the Revenue Performance Report for the First Half of 2017. Apart from failure to comply with tax requirements, the SMEs sector has largely remained a challenge for Government even under the National Financial Inclusion Strategy.
Despite the number of initiatives instituted in the pursuit of an inclusive financial sector, gaps are particularly pronounced among special groups such as the SMEs, women, youth, rural population and the small scale agricultural sector.