via President inks Bill to name, shame tax offenders into law | The Herald November 20, 2015
PRESIDENT Mugabe has signed into law a Bill that empowers the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (zimra) to name and shame tax offenders. The Finance Act, which was signed into law last Friday after its passage in Parliament on October 1, amends among others, the Revenue Authority Act to allow the tax collector to publish the names and addresses of tax offenders.
“Despite anything in this section, the Commissioner-General may, in relation to a taxpayer or other person who is convicted of a tax offence — (“the offender”) in respect of which all appeal or review proceedings relating to the offences have, within the period allowed, been completed or not instituted (or, having been instituted, have been abandoned), publish for general information the following particulars — the name and at area of residence of an offender; and any particulars of the offence that the Commissioner-general thinks fit; and the particulars of the fine or sentence imposed on the offender; any other particulars specified in the first schedule,” reads part of the new law. The law says a “tax offence” covers smuggling or any other offence against any of the eight listed legislation.
The laws covered are the Betting and Totalisator Control Act; Capital Gains Tax Act; Customs and Excise Act; Income Tax Act; Income Tax (Transitional Period Provisions) Act; Stamp Duties Act; Tax Reserve Certificates Act and Value Added Tax Act. Experts say the taxman’s naming and shaming move may curb tax avoidance. While steering the Bill in Parliament, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, said the move would enhance zimra’s operations.
“Mr Speaker Sir, in order to enhance efficiency in the operation of zimra, as well as improving compliance to legislative requirements by taxpayers, I proposed to amend the legislation to provide for the publication of names of convicted tax offenders,” said Minister Chinamasa.