Livingstone Marufu Business Reporter
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) surpassed its January 2018 revenue target after gross collections totalled $350,97 million against a budget of $325,05 million, driven by strong out turn in collection in all tax heads, data from the authority shows. Zimra corporate communications head Canisio Mudzimu, said the strong performance was on account of a number of measures the authority put in place to improve revenue collection.
“Net collections now stood at $336, 99 million from the $262,13 million, which is a 28,56 percent increase from the revenue that was collected during the same period last year. The positive performance was mainly spurred by value added tax (VAT) on local sales, corporate income tax and individual tax,” said Mr Mudzimu.
All the revenue heads, except customs duty, performed above January 2017 levels. Gross collections from VAT on local sales for January 2018 amounted to $106,33 million and after processing refunds amounting to $13,63 million, the net collections came down to $93,10 million.
Corporate income tax contributed $19,70 million to total revenue for the month under review, against a target of $15,20 million. Collections under corporate income tax, which were 29,58 percent above target and increased by 46,20 percent from the $13,47 million that was collected in the same period the prior year.
The improvement in revenue collection resulted from intensified taxpayer education programmes, to promote voluntary tax compliance, automation and modernisation initiatives. The initiatives being carried out by the authority include fiscalisation and the electronic cargo tracking as well as the increased use of electronic payments, which leave an audit trail.
Zimra’s tenacious fight against underhand dealings such as previously rampant transit fraud, corruption, smuggling and tax evasion have also contributed to the sterling revenue performance. The concerted implementation of revenue enhancement measures by Zimra enabled steady inflows and reduced leakages, despite the difficult operating economic environment.
The strong performance is likely to be sustained for the entire year. This strong revenue performance is expected to improve and become more defined in 2018, as extra efficiency measures the revenue authority has undertaken bear optimum results.
The revenue authority has expressed confidence that it would surpass the 2018 annual revenue target, which stands at $4,3 billion. The authority also recently appointed a substantive Commissioner General, Ms Faith Mazani, with effect from February 1 2018.
Ms Mazani was previously with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Regional Technical Assistance Centre (RTAC), where she served as a Tax Administration Expert or Advisor since 2014.