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At least 7 500 tax evaders have prejudiced Treasury of millions of dollars in unremitted dues since introduction of the multi-currency system in 2009.
This emerged when the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority gave defaulters from October 2014 to September 2015 to organise their papers.
During that period, Zimra received 7 580 amnesty applications from businesses and individuals, some of which were turned down.
Though The Sunday Mail could not determine the applicants’ names, it is understood Zimra is lining up penalties, including garnishee orders.
Responding to our inquiries, Zimra board secretary and director (legal and corporate services) Ms Florence Jambwa said, “Applications for tax amnesty received from clients, since the announcement of the amnesty and its subsequent expiry on 30 September 2015, were in excess of 7 580.
“There are several strategies that Zimra employs to enhance revenue collection. Examples of such strategies include, but are not limited to, awareness campaigns, negotiations for tax payment plans in cases of those taxpayers facing viability challenges and tax amnesty (such as the one which expired on 30 September 2015).”Let me start by highlighting that any measures to recover revenue are based on facts and not suspicion.”
She also said: “Fiscal legislation prescribes a number of measures which can be taken to recover outstanding taxes and duties. Such measures include penalties and interest levied on late or non-remittance of taxes and duties and/or returns, among many others.
“The law also provides for the use of garnishee orders to recover outstanding revenue. However, let me hasten to point out that garnishee orders are used only as a last resort when all engagement initiatives, including negotiations, would have failed to yield the desired outcome.”
Zimra has been on a drive to optimise revenue collection.
Its amnesty aimed to cultivate a culture of voluntary compliance, spreading the tax burden across a wider base and facilitating provision of more accurate data on economic activity.
Revenue collection for the first half of 2015 was US$1,66 billion, nearly six percent below the US$1,76 billion target – Seource-sundaymail