Michael Tome Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, (ZIMRA) has warned traders and businesses against fabricating financial information on transactions done in foreign currency.
ZIMRA implored those in violation of standing rules to voluntarily come forward and declare proper records of their operations before December 31, 2021.
The revenue collector said it would have little choice but take stern action against culprits found guilty of manipulating accounting records relating to sales done in hard currency.
This comes after ZIMRA discovered that some businesses were selling goods and services in foreign currency but were not declaring any the foreign currency transactions for tax purposes as is required by the law.
While it did not indicate how much was being lost, millions of potential US dollar tax inflows may be vanishing into thin air given most traders prefer to be paid in hard currency.
ZIMRA said taxpayers should take advantage of the grace period to come forward and make voluntary disclosures to avoid penalties and prosecution for anyone found breaking the law.
The national tax collector said some businesses were transacting in foreign currency and converting such transactions to Zimbabwean dollars for tax purposes.
Other businesses transact in foreign currency, ZIMRA said, and only declare a small portion of their hard currency sales when accounting for their taxes.
Further ZIMRA highlighted that some businesses traded directly in foreign currency without receipting the foreign currency received and did not include such sales when paying tax.
ZIMRA said that it was deeply concerned by the illicit behaviour being exhibited by traders and would take the necessary steps to nip the irregular conduct in the bud.
“Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, (ZIMRA) has noted with concern that there are traders who are falsifying their financial records and is therefore, urging all traders to come forth and make voluntary disclosures of all under-declared or non-payment of tax by 31 December 2021 to avoid vigorous audits, prosecution, and penalties that will be instituted soon after the deadline.
“Taxpayers are encouraged to take advantage of this window by making voluntary disclosures and payments thereafter. Other businesses are receiving their foreign transactions manually when in fact, the businesses have computer-aided system capacity to receive in the currency of trade.
“The proceeds from such manual receipts are not declared for tax purposes,” said ZIMRA in a statement themed on the falsification of forex declarations.
ZIMRA said it was aware of businesses receipting foreign currency sales using back offices with stand-alone computers with the not declared for tax purposes while others had sale points specifically designated for forex transactions that are hidden with recorded sales from such machines not declared to ZIMRA.