via Megabucks CEOs evading tax: Zimra | The Herald February 3, 2014 by Clara Mawere
Public and private company managers getting hefty salaries are not paying their full taxes with some of them manipulating loopholes in the revenue collection system to evade taxes, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has said.
Zimra Commissioner-General Mr Gershem Pasi also said the revenue authority was investigating several cases of tax evasion, but was finding the going tough because some anti-graft authorities were complicit in corruption.
Information gleaned by The Herald indicates some firms, in the private and public sectors, could be running parallel payrolls.
Indications are that there are “official” payrolls that show reasonable salaries and benefits. These are the ones made available to tax authorities.
Separate pay systems see cash directly paid to managers without anything reaching Zimra.
It is believed that some of these huge payouts are being made in cash or as deposits in foreign bank accounts.
Responding to questions at a stakeholders’ workshop for Members of Parliament hosted by Zimra last week, Mr Pasi said some company boards were approving flawed systems allowing them to manipulate legal systems.
In recent weeks the media have exposed huge packages paid to managers at State-linked enterprises, with the figures eliciting outrage from ordinary people.
“The operating systems in several companies have loopholes which allow for different boards of some companies to endorse authorised systems that are flawed,” Mr Pasi said.
Pressed for details on the how the parastatal bosses were evading full payment of taxes, Mr Pasi said the matter was under investigation.
He said they were working on a system that would prevent corruption.
“We are working on a system to safeguard against corruption and we need a holistic approach at national level to fight this cancer,” he said.
Mr Pasi said some law enforcers expected to deal with corruption, were in fact, part of the problem making it difficult to address the scourge.
He said some Government institutions were also not paying taxes, resulting in them being more than US$500 million in arrears.
“Government owes money and companies are not able to pay taxes. Even if they make payments there is no money in the bank hence the need to first get the economy functioning” he said.
Last week, it emerged that PSMAS chief executive officer Cuthbert Dube and ZBC boss Happison Muchechetere earned US$230 000 and US$27 000 per month respectively.