Chinamasa vows to tax vendors

via Chinamasa vows to tax vendors – NewZimbabwe 24/05/2015

FINANCE Minister Patrick Chinamasa has vowed to track down all informal traders to recover what he said were the state’s dues realised through the activities of the often unregulated economic sector.

Responding to questions by backbenchers in Parliament last week, Chinamasa also insisted that even tuck shop owners must present evidence of their cash-flows to Zimra to allow the state to collect its dues.

According to the 2015 budget, tuck shop owners are now supposed to pay a flat $300 quarterly tax.

But MPs last week queried the amount which they said was too much for poor families and pensioners struggling to make ends meet in a tough economy.

“…I do not believe that the presumptive tax as currently charged is too high,” Chinamasa said, while responding to a question by Kadoma Central MP Fani Fanuel Phiri.

“The tax payer has a choice. You can make your books available to show that you are not making money.

“In fact, it may turn out that you are not liable to pay tax, but if you are not prepared to be transparent to show your books, the tax man has a right to presume you to be making an income which you may not be making.”

Asked by Mutasa South MP Irene Zindi how it was possible for groups of women operating makeshift businesses with no track of their dealings to present their books to Zimra, Chinamasa insisted they still carried the burden to convince the tax payer.

“What has happened in our economy is a structural shift from formalised employment to informal sector and that is what has eroded our tax revenue base,” said Chinamasa.

“Therefore,” he added, “we cannot afford not to follow where the money now is, which is in the informal sector.

“What I would say to the hon. member is that if they are already making income, all we want to know is what level of income. There may not be any profit, so we do not tax expenses.

“The tax system has got tax bands and there are thresholds of income which are not liable to taxation. Like I said, you can do your books very simply, very elementary and show the taxman.

“I would want the hon. member to be coming back here to say Zimra is not accepting our books because they are too elementary. That is something that we can look at in order to simplify the kind of information that must be availed to the taxpayer for him/her to make an opinion as to whether that income comes within the band of taxable income.”

The cash-strapped government is accused of failing to invent enough ideas to expand the fast-shrinking revenue base while taking the easier option of taxing those eking out a living in the streets.

Government is adamant an estimated $7 billion is currently exchanging hands outside the country’s formal system where the state draws its share through taxes.

Chinamasa insisted in Parliament that there was no turning back in the state’s attempt to force informal traders to meet their obligations.

“…On that one, I think we should all be in agreement and we should not change our position. We should follow the money where it is now which is in the informal sector.”


  • comment-avatar
    Nhamodzenyika 7 years ago

    It’s not collecting revenue that is a problem;it’s what you do with it once collected stupid!

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    Create proper employment FOOL

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    Washumba 7 years ago

    Remember to get your proposal approved by AU and SADC chair, His Excellency, President and First Secretary of Zanu PF, Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces be4 you start dreaming to tax poor people.

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    Kariba 7 years ago

    If you are selling tomatoes on the street you probably cannot afford a book for Mr Chinamasa to look at.

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    grabmore 7 years ago

    Why should the vendors work hard all day long and then give money to Chinamasa who does not use it uses it improve infrastructure for the vendors but instead uses it to pay salaries and perks for civil servants who besides never being at work actually are busy running their own private businesses which escape paying tax. Why?

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    gogosesikhona 7 years ago

    Who created vending at this scale in Zimbabwe? What this baboon is scared to admit is that zanu is prepared to steal even from the blind, so long as there is something to steal. Ever wondered why blind people are running away from Zimbabwe?

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    grabmore 7 years ago

    Chinamasa said “we cannot afford to not follow where the money is.” Imagine? Firstly, have we really reached so low that our major industry is now street vending? And secondly, who is “we” ?

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    How can you tax the vendors.

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    the spectator 7 years ago

    “What has happened in our economy is a structural
    shift from formalised employment to informal
    sector and that is what has eroded our tax revenue

    Honorable please explain if the vendors are the ones responsible for this occurance?people are fighting tooth and nail just to have a proper meal on the table now you tax them is it necessary??

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    tonyme 7 years ago

    The Government knows where the money is. It is in the farms where the big wigs have three to six farms. It is in the big wigs accounts where they borrowed money the RBZ but refuse to pay back. They instead want the poor people to pay. There are parastatals which were recently audited and found to have money being taken by the big wigs. Why isn’t Chinamasa going after all these loopholes instead and stop bugging little people trying to make a living. People are selling as vendors as a necessity and not by choice. Most factories are closed because of stinking policies which discourage business growth and investment.I think Zimbabwe needs a whole new government with fresh ideas for the betterment of all sectors. After 35 years it seems ZANU has failed the test.

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    insane economics 7 years ago

    the govt must first try to be transparent in how they use the money before siphoning more taxes from poor people

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    Jono Austin 7 years ago

    the vendors must pay for the holidays in Singapore and for Grace’s shopping trips-if they don’t who will?