via Zimra to invade “Cashberts” accounts 09/04/2014 by NewZimbabwe
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is considering invading bank accounts belonging to high earning company executives who have been evading tax through awarding themselves non taxable benefits disproportionate to their salaries, Zimra boss Gershem Pasi has said.
Pasi was giving oral evidence on the operations of the authority before a parliamentary committee on foreign affairs Tuesday.
The Zimra chief further said the tax collector will soon dispatch its officers to sniff through company bank accounts and see if government was not being prejudiced in terms of tax revenue.
Pasi said the operation shall also target companies that have provided false information to the revenue authority, among them those belonging to politically connected individuals.
He said this after he was asked by committee chairperson, Enock Porusingazi as to why Zimra was garnishing company accounts when this could easily cripple the operations of some entities.
“We have some companies and people who use their political associations and links and say ‘catch me if you can’ hence we use garnish orders,” the Zimra Commissioner-General said.
“They don’t want to give us accurate information and when we hear it from the intelligence and we call the concerned parties for dialogue but they prove otherwise.
“We use garnish orders so that they can come and we talk on the table.”
Pasi, who was also rumoured to be among top earning executives running the country’s struggling firms, then turned on his peers.
“Very soon, in fact this week or so you shall see more garnish orders coming especially with this salarygate issue, we shall be making them because they are some who don’t want to be honest with us,” he said.
Last month, government claimed that it could have been prejudiced amounts in excess of $2 million by parastatal heads through tax evasion.
Suspected top salary earners such as ex-Premier Service Medical Aid Society boss, Cuthbert Dube, the State would have realised just under $2.5 million in tax revenue from the top four earners of state enterprises.
“There was a tendency among these parastatal and local authority bosses to turn to non-taxable benefits and the prejudice to the state in terms of taxable income is still to be worked out. The audit will highlight that and we will then look at the criminal implications,” said Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said then.
Chinamasa said the evasion has been going on during the entire five year inclusive government tenure.