More taxes collected to fund development

Source: More taxes collected to fund development | The Herald

More taxes collected to fund development
Mrs Josephine Matambo

Herald Reporter

A total of $469,21 billion were collected in taxes and duties last year against a target of $387,4 billion, ensuring the Government had the money to accelerate development.

Gross collections for the fourth quarter amounted to $161,08 billion against a target of $108,17 billion which translates to 48,91 percent above target, reports Zimra vice-chairperson, Mrs Josephine Matambo, in her latest revenue report for the fourth quarter, and thus for the whole year, published yesterday.

“The year 2021 ended on a positive note in terms of revenue collections as Zimra surpassed revenue targets despite a number of challenges that confronted the revenue authority and the nation as a whole. The biggest adversity was the continued Covid-19 pandemic that affected business operations and led to death of fellow citizens and some of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s staff,” said Mrs Matambo.

“The authority collected net revenue of $469,21 billion against a target of $387,4 billion for the year ending 31 December 2021 and this translated to 21,12 percent above target,” she said.

Zimra collects the excise duty, value added tax, customs duty, income tax, company taxes and the intermediate money transfer tax and all brought in more in the fourth quarter in nominal terms compared to the same period in 2020.

“This is largely attributable to inflationary pressures that the country experienced for the greater part of 2021.”

The sums reported were what actually flowed into the Zimra bank accounts. Late payments and what people try and avoid is not included.

Excise duty was one of the highest revenue contributors in the fourth quarter after it accounted for 12,4 percent of total revenue while VAT on local sales constituted 14,42 percent owing mainly to the campaign blitz undertaken by Zimra using all media platforms.

Regarding customs duty and VAT on imports, the import taxable base increased by 74,37 percent from $65,08 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 to $113,47 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.

IMTT contributed 10,48 percent to the quarterly revenue.

“The non-availability of adequate cash to meet transaction needs of corporates and individuals resulted in increased demand for electronic transactions and this boosted IMTT collections,” said Mrs Matambo.

She also said measures aimed at improving the ease of doing business such as the upgrade of the Beitbridge Border Post, which is the largest and busiest port of entry in the country, enforcement of pre-clearance procedure and levied penalties for non-compliance and deployment of additional staff during peak hours, helped Zimra boost revenues.

There were also revenue enhancement measures implemented such as the publicity blitz, effective debt management and risk-based audits, among others.

Key strategic projects being undertaken include border surveillance through acquisition of drones which are already in the process of being acquired to curb the obtaining rampant smuggling around entry points, smuggling that see large sums in duties, most being lost as goods are carried over the Limpopo River by wading porters or carried or trucked on new roads across the Eastern Highlands.

Mrs Matambo said Zimra was progressing with the inland dry ports with the aim of decongesting border posts. These allow goods to be held in bond and cleared when they are needed.

The Makuti dry port project is now at design stage while other locations include Mutare, Bulawayo and Masvingo.

“Zimra expects a productive 2022 as most of its projects are now at implementation stage, the time-consuming project initiation stages have passed for most of the projects,” said Mrs Matambo.