Walter Muchinguri Assistant Business Editor
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has exceeded its target for the first quarter this year by 6,09 percent as it continues to benefit from the new revenue enhancement measures it has been implementing. These include automation, greater enforcement and the fight against corruption. Zimra said gross collections for the period under review were $862,47 million against a target of $812,94 million. Net collections for the period were up 1,68 percent above target to $826,63 million after the deduction of refunds amounting to $35,84 million.
The bulk of the revenues in Q1 (2017) were from Value Added Tax on Local Sales (22,42 percent), Individual Tax (20,05 percent) and Excise Duty (18,17 percent), Company Tax contributed 11,20 percent, while the rest of the revenue heads contributed 28,16 percent.
Value Added Tax on Local Sales contributed 185,36 million against a target of 163,90 million while Individual Tax totalled $165,83 million against a target of 185,20 million and Excise Duty netted $150,28 million against a target of $162,64 million. Zimra board chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said they were looking at building on the positive performance in Value Added Tax on Local Sales.
“This positive performance should form the nucleus of a new incremental trend in revenue collection in response to the Authority’s measures to enforce compliance and improve efficiency. This is in addition to the moves to plug all the tax leakages in the economy in the short to medium term. Zimra has been flushing out a number of fraudulent claims. In the long run, the economy has to be fixed sustainably in order to keep increasing revenue collections,” she said.
Gross and net collections for the period under review compare favourably with those of the same period last year.
Gross collection for the period were up 10,29 percent from $781,99 million collected last year while net collection were up 14,04 percent from $724,89 million collected during the same period last year. She attributed the upward trend in collections for the quarter to a battery of revenue enhancement measures implemented by the Authority, which include automation, greater enforcement and the fight against corruption.
“It is encouraging to note that quite a number of tax heads exceeded their targets unlike before when only VAT on Local Sales would meet the target. During the quarter under review, in addition to VAT on Local Sales, other tax heads such as VAT on Imports, Company Tax, Mining Royalties and other Indirect Taxes exceeded their Q1 (2017) targets.
“The improved performance of VAT on Local Sales and Company Tax is attributable to the thrust in automation, audits and compliance checks. Automation has enabled Zimra to bring in more taxpayers into the net. It has also enabled Zimra to notice under-declarations. This process is on-going and the trend is, therefore, expected to continue throughout the year, other things remaining equal,” she said.