Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
BUSINESSES here have been urged to pay their taxes to reduce the burden on a few corporates that have been paying their dues to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and contribute in the improvement of the doing business environment.
Represented by the deputy director in her office, Mr Terrence Machocho, at a Zimra stakeholder meeting recently, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba said it was every Zimbabwean’s duty to pay taxes, hence the task should not be left to a few individuals.
“Let me emphasise that paying correct duties and taxes is a duty of every citizen of the country so that all share the tax burden,” she said.
“Some of our people evade paying taxes not because they do not know, but they are reluctant to comply. To generate revenue for the country, people ought to comply and perhaps negotiate payment mechanisms with Zimra when importing goods and services under each classified sector.” The tax authority has been on an aggressive drive to engage tax payers in an effort to shore up tax compliance levels that have seen only a few businesses bearing the burden of tax in an economy that relies mostly on domestic resource mobilisation to survive.
According to Zimra statistics, not more than 300 000 taxpayers are registered on the tax collector’s database, and of that figure, compliance levels are currently at less than 40 percent. Minister Gwaradzimba lamented the continued effects of smuggling that has deprived Government of millions of dollars in potential revenue.