Taxman moves in on churches

via Taxman moves in on churches | The Herald October 23, 2015

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has written letters to several churches demanding information which it intends to use to calculate how much tax they owe, as moves gather momentum to ensure churches pay taxes for the first time.

Investigations by The Herald revealed that a number of churches were in possession of the letter demanding a list of financial documents to assess and come up with the figures owing in tax arrears.

This came at a time when Zimra has raided churches like the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe’s accounts for not complying with paying taxes.

On September 24, 2015, Zimra wrote a letter to Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa’s United Family International Church, demanding some financial documents and other papers relevant for the taxing exercise.

In terms of the letter signed by Zimra manager (domestic Taxes) for its Regional One, Mr E Tafireyi, UFIC was asked to produce the following:

1 A listing of all associated companies.

2 Financial statements for the period between 2012 to 2014.

3 Summarised monthly cash book for the year 2012 to date.

4 Stock records for the same period (to include both opening and closing)

5 Monthly sales schedules for the same period

6 Purchase invoices and or bills of entries for imports for the same period

7 VAT input tax claim schedules for the same period

8 Suppliers tax clearances (ITF263) for the same period

9 ITF16 and payroll summaries for the years 2012 to 2014

10 Asset registers including those for associated companies

11 List of directors including for all associated companies and their physical address and breakdown of non-executive directors fees and details of withholding tax remittances if there are any non-executive directors.

12 Name and addresses of the shareholders including for all associated and related companies.

Sources said the same letter was written to several other churches.

According to the letter, Zimra wanted its two investigating officers J Mutezo and T Mandiona to access the requested documents for the authority’s verification exercise.

“Messrs J Mutezo and T Mandiona are Zimra officers authorised to carry out a verification on the tax affairs of UFIC for period January 1 2012 to date,” read the letter.

“Following the meeting at Zimra Kurima offices with Mr Elias Hwenga on the 9th instant, where we agreed that UFIC avail the below listed information, it is with this and in cognisance that we further write in follow up to our earlier request for the below listed information to be availed by Monday 28 September 2015, for the completion of the verification exercise.”

The Herald understands that several pentecostal churches were under probe for tax evasion, although Zimra commissioner general Mr Gershem Pasi is on record saying the commission was still working on a legislative framework on taxing churches.

Zimra spokesperson Mr Canisius Mudzimu refused to comment on the matter and ignored questions sent to him two days ago despite several follow-ups made.

The Herald understands that some AFM in Zimbabwe churches in areas like Kwekwe and Karoi have been taxed in excess of $100 000 and had their accounts garnished.

Sources said Zimra officials would disguise as church members and check on the monies contributed during services.

Zimra is reportedly tracking the churches from the imported vehicles that have some exemption, down to the pastors’ rented houses in a bid to come up with an appropriate tax.

Some churches announce the total offerings at the end of the each session and tithes raised, the evidence that may be used by the taxman in arriving at figures owing in tax.

Last month, Zimra reportedly raided Prophet Walter Magaya’s Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries, probing the church over numerous donations that had been done to the needy.

Appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperatives Development recently Mr Pasi said:

“We are now focusing on them (churches) and we have engaged them, we are setting parameters,” he said.

“We don’t care how they make their money and come November, we will be through with our legislative proposals to the minister (of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa), which will tighten that area because we have seen loopholes there. They are not immune to taxation.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 7
  • comment-avatar

    THE INCORRUPTIBLE WORD OF GOD IN MALACHI 3: 10 WAS NOT WRITTEN FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CORRUPT POLITICIAL SYSTEMS OF THIS EARTH, BUT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE SERVING IN THE HOUSE OF JEHOVAH GOD, THE MOST HIGH GOD HIMSELF. DID GOD ASK HIS PEOPLE TO BRING THEIR TITHES & OFFERINGS TO ANY ONE ELSE OTHER THAN TO THE HOUSE OF GOD? AS A SERVANT OF THE MOST-HIGH GOD, ACCORDING TO ISAIAH 54: 17, I CONDEMN THIS MOVE BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE TO NOUGHT.
    AND IN THE MIGHTY AND MATCHLESS NAME OF JESUS, DECREE THAT EVEN AS KING NEBUCHADNEZZAH WAS CONDEMNED AND JUDGED BY GOD FOR OPPRESSING THE PEOPLE OF GOD AND FOR LOOTING AND ROBBING THE HOUSE OF GOD THEN, SO BE IT NOW FOR ALL WHO HAVE RISEN AGAINST THE SERVANTS OF THE MOST HIGH GOD AND THE CHURCH OF JEHOVAH GOD, THERE IN ZIMBABWE. IT IS DONE IN JESUS’ NAME!

  • comment-avatar

    THE INCORRUPTIBLE WORD OF GOD IN MALACHI 3: 10 WAS NOT WRITTEN FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CORRUPT POLITICIAL SYSTEMS OF THIS EARTH, BUT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE SERVING IN THE HOUSE OF JEHOVAH GOD, THE MOST HIGH GOD HIMSELF. DID GOD ASK HIS PEOPLE TO BRING THEIR TITHES & OFFERINGS TO ANY ONE ELSE OTHER THAN TO THE HOUSE OF GOD? AS A SERVANT OF THE MOST-HIGH GOD, ACCORDING TO ISAIAH 54: 17, I CONDEMN THIS MOVE BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE TO NOUGHT.
    AND IN THE MIGHTY AND MATCHLESS NAME OF JESUS, I DECREE THAT EVEN AS KING NEBUCHADNEZZAH WAS CONDEMNED AND JUDGED BY GOD FOR OPPRESSING THE PEOPLE OF GOD AND FOR LOOTING AND ROBBING THE HOUSE OF GOD THEN, SO BE IT NOW FOR ALL WHO HAVE RISEN AGAINST THE SERVANTS OF THE MOST HIGH GOD AND THE CHURCH OF JEHOVAH GOD, THERE IN ZIMBABWE. IT IS DONE IN JESUS’ NAME!

  • comment-avatar

    IS THE GOVERNMENT IMMUNE TO BRINGING ITS TITHES TO THE HOUSE OF GOD? WHO IS GREATER, THE GOVERNMENT AND THE SERVANTS OF JEHOVAH GOD? ARE HIS SERVANTS NOT ABOVE THE GOVERNMENT?

    IN THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS, I NEED AN ANSWER TO THIS FROM ZIMRA PLEASE AND ALSO FROM MR PATRICK CHINAMASA

  • comment-avatar

    I CURSE ZIMRA AND EVERYONE INVOLVED IN ROBBING THE CHURCH IN ZIMBABWE IN THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS!!

  • comment-avatar
    bakwena 7 years ago

    Modern churches have become corrupt and have invited the corrupt,they have employed accountants yet orphans and widows are not considered

  • comment-avatar
    Michael Chosi 7 years ago

    To those who have commented above, Jesus said give unto Caesar what belongs to him. These churches are like any organisation are supposed to pay taxes which in turn will help the poor in Zimbabwe, not to let these Church founders buy helicopters.

    • comment-avatar

      Taxes are a bondage. No political system is not guilty of taxing God’s people and failing to help the poor. The Church especially in Africa, is burdened with the unjust and selfishness ways of the Politicians/Taxman. JESUS died for us to be set free from such bondage. What did JESUS say after He rose from the? He said “All authority is given unto me, in heaven and in earth!” He took back the authority Satan had stolen from us. He paid a price for us, He bought us back from sin/ Satan’s bondage with His blood! Majayira ma Politician, your time is over! WELCOME TO THE END-TIME!The Church is not under your bondage anymore but under the PRECIOUS BLOOD of JESUS! What is wrong with a church denomination owning a helicopter? If the house of God cannot have the best, who should? What qualifies Caesar to rob the House of God? JESUS said “give Caesar what belongs to him” because He had not died for the church on the Cross. He never declared His sovereign authority over Satan’s kingdom until after His resurrection. Before His death on the Cross grace and salvation from the bondage of sin was not yet given. Caesar represented bondage of sin because revelation was not yet given to the church. Revelation comes from the Holy Spirit. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law/ bondage/sin. The Word of God is revealed to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, which was given by grace after the resurrection of Christ. Revelation of the Word of God shows that all wealth belongs to God. The wealth of the sinner/taxman is laid up for the just/the saints (Proverbs 13: 22) what God declared through Prophet Haggai (SEE Haggai 2:7-8) is happening now and no Taxman can stop it! Watch out devil! This is our time, the Church. We declare that your corruption is coming to an end! You just brought it upon yourselves by stretching your filthy hands to the church. You are not qualified to judge the church in this End Time. That’s not your place! Spiritual things cannot be judged by the flesh. You are doomed! This is God’s time!