The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is intensifying efforts to have all companies in the country fiscalise in a bid to improve tax collection, the Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) has learnt.
As the revenue base continues to dwindle, eroded by a shrinking economy, itself affected by company closures and increasing job losses, ZIMRA is having severe headaches in meeting its revenue targets.
C&M understands that in a desperate bid to rake in more revenue required to fund the cash-strapped government, ZIMRA is vigorously giving out fiscal gadgets to companies for free.
Fiscalisation uses electronic fiscal devices or machines designed for use in businesses for efficient management controls in areas of sales analysis and stock control system such as electronic tax registers, electronic fiscal printers and electronic signature devices.
In essence, these devices are designed to capture all sales information and automatically re-route it to the tax authorities who in turn are able to see how much they are owed by companies.
Speaking during an Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ)’s tax update seminar, Diloitte’s tax director, Monica Gotora, said: “ZIMRA is setting up a platform to receive data from installed fiscal devices and the Finance Minister (Patrick Chinamasa), has already set up a committee to finalise this.”
Grant Thornton Chartered Accountants Zimbabwe’s tax director, Christina Muzerengi, weighed in saying: “Everyone is expected to fiscalise. ZIMRA is currently giving (fiscal) devices for free. Every taxpayer is affected. Take advantage and get one as they may in future come at a price. With the coming of fiscalisation, we will see a lot of ZIMRA officers in the field.
“Previously registered taxpayers will continue to use their old devices and will only be connected to the ZIMRA server at a later stage.”
The fiscalisation project was introduced six year ago when government made fiscalisation legally enforceable by gazetting Statutory Instrument 104 of 2010.
Only those companies whose annual turnover was more than US$240 000, qualified to register for the fiscal devises.
Now, as provided for in Section 80 of the amended Income Tax Act, ZIMRA is introducing fiscal devices for all companies in an attempt to monitor economic transactions.
Local industry bodies have, since the beginning of the project, been strenuously resisting its implementation, arguing that the gadgets, at a cost of between US$600 and US$3 200 per unit, would weigh down businesses.
Big retailers such as OK Zimbabwe and TM Supermarkets, however, grudgingly complied.
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