THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has shut down a Chinese blanket manufacturing firm, Veleez, for circumventing their duty and tax obligations.
Chinese firms are reportedly dodging Zimra in paying duty by putting the wrong tariff codes, undervaluing goods, and understating the quantity of goods. Other tactics include not applying for import licences to bring in goods through the country’s borders.
Zimra officials visited Veleez which operates in the Southerton industrial area where they engaged a Mr Wang whom the workers from other businesses operating on the premises said was in charge of the company.
Wang then pretended not to speak English, although employees from other businesses operating at the premises had earlier told NewsDay he spoke and understood the language.
However, Wang’s actions baffled Zimra officials as he seemed to be busy on his phone the entire time before briefly talking to the tax collectors.
NewsDay witnessed the Zimra officials showing Wang a document believed to be the letter embargoing the blankets and closing Veleez operations before they left.
After the Zimra officials left, NewsDay approached Wang who then retreated into the factory, shutting the doors behind which he remained on his phone.
Former Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Commissioner-General Mr Gershem Pasi who recently resigned after being suspended over 45 charges of misconduct will not walk free as the authority will press criminal charges against him.
Zimra board chair Mrs Willia Bonyongwe told The Sunday Mail that serious allegations of corruption will be pursued despite Mr Pasi’s resignation.
The former Zimra Comm-Gen tendered his resignation on May 22, 2017, citing irretrievably broken down relations with Zimra.
A forensic audit by HLB Chartered Accountants linked Mr Pasi to corruption bordering on fraud, tax evasion, poor corporate governance, which prejudiced Zimra of over US$20 million.
Former Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Commissioner-General Gershom Pasi, who resigned this week, will walk away scot free, as his resignation removes the right for Zimra to bring him to a hearing over the 40 charges of corruption and misconduct he was facing.
Legal experts noted yesterday that the Labour Act was clear on the relationship between the employer and the employee, and once one resigned, the employer losses the right to pursue discplinary action.
This means that justice might never be served on Mr Pasi’s 40 charges of corruption.
Mr Pasi resigned on Monday citing irretrievably broken down relations with his former employer, who last year suspended him over a slew of misconduct allegations and corruption.
Law experts said the Labour Act provided for the conduct between an employer and employee, and once a contract was terminated, the authority over the employee ends.
The 40 counts of misconduct and corruption Mr Pasi faced included vehicle importation scams and other charges dating back to 2009.
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) Commissioner-General Gershem Pasi has resigned from his post with immediate effect, citing irretrievably broken down relations with his employer who last year suspended him over a slew of misconduct allegations. It is not clear whether Comm-Gen Pasi will still answer to over 40 counts of misconduct, including vehicle importation scams and other charges dating back to 2009.
Among other charges, Comm-Gen Pasi was facing allegations of signing a $14 million contract with a company called AVIC International for the supply of uniforms and tollgate equipment without following tender procedures.
He also stands accused of failure to investigate the alleged fraudulent importation of vehicles by Zimra executives, authorising his daughter to use the authority’s vehicle and approving salary increments without board approval.
Comm-Gen Pasi was also expected to answer to allegations of allocating himself excessive vehicle allowances to an extent of getting $374 451 between 2014 and May 2016.
DESPITE the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA)’s aggression in revenue collection, defaults in tax payment have worsened, the tax authority has said.
In its first quarter revenue performance report, ZIMRA said tax indiscipline has become rampant, with local firms becoming perennial tax dodgers and increasingly non-compliant with the country’s tax laws.
ZIMRA said although bigger industry players folded due to economic hardships, the majority of new companies that had emerged or survived have shown a penchant for tax default.
“Some companies have folded up or considerably downsized but the new economic players who have emerged have not been tax compliant. Some of the new companies are actually bigger than the companies which they replaced but they just do not pay taxes,” said ZIMRA.
But tax expert, Peter Mugodi, said ZIMRA should scrap the 100 percent penalty to encourage companies to honour their tax obligations.
Government has suspended duty on imported fertiliser and ammonia gas to ensure adequate supplies of the commodities for the next cropping season. The announcement was made by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa in an Extraordinary Government Gazette published on Friday.
In terms of the notice, Statutory Instrument 55 of 2017, Minister Chinamasa said suspension of duty on fertiliser would apply to 5 300 tonnes of urea and 4 700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate until December 31 2017.
In the same gazette, he said 82 000 tonnes of ammonia gas imported by Sable Chemical Industries would be free of duty until December 2018.
“It is hereby notified that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has in terms of Section 235 of the Customs and Excise Act (Chapter 23:02), made the following regulations: These regulations may be cited as the Customs and Excise (Suspension) (Amendment) Regulations, 2017 (No. 168).
“The Customs and Excise (Suspension) Regulations, 2003, published in Statutory Instrument 257 of 2003, are amended by the insertion of the following section after Section 9(Y).
“With effect from February 14 2017 and until December 31 2018, duty on ammonia gas of tariff code 2814.1000 imported by Sable Chemical Industries Limited is wholly suspended,” read the gazette.
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has intensified efforts to collect taxes from the informal sector as it desperately seeks to shore up State coffers.
The country’s informal sector has expanded over the years, absorbing the bulk of the retrenched and the unemployed graduates.
For some time now, government has been eager to find a way to tax the informal sector players, who include traders and manufacturers of an assortment of household and industrial products.
And in an effort to capture a proportion of the sector’s income, government a fortnight ago introduced a number of new taxes targeted at the informal sector including hair dressers, commuter omnibuses, airtime vendors, driving school owners, tobacco farmers and many others.
Tax experts told the Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) that the move would improve revenue collection but highlighted that implementation would be difficult.
They said it was not going to be easy for government to tax the informal sector because most of the players did not keep records of their business.A large number were unregistered businesses and many others did not have fixed places of operation.
Government started implementing the plan a fortnight ago, enforcing the introduction of a 10 percent withholding tax on tobacco farmers without tax clearance certificates. But that move was reversed after farmers protested at tobacco auction floors.
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) says the bulk of its revenue tax heads exceeded targets in the first quarter, resulting in total gross collections of $862,47 million against a target of $812,9 million.
The revenue collector said the improved performance was attributable to the thrust in automation, audits and compliance checks.
In a statement yesterday, Zimra board chairperson, Willia Bonyongwe said during the first quarter other tax heads such as value-added tax (VAT) on imports, company tax, mining royalties and other indirect taxes exceeded their first quarter targets in addition to VAT on local sales.
“It is encouraging to note that quite a number of tax heads exceeded their targets unlike before when only VAT on local sales would meet the target. The improved performance of VAT on local sales and company tax is attributable to the thrust in automation, audits and compliance checks. Automation has enabled Zimra to bring in more taxpayers into the net,” she said.
PROCUREMENT of imported raw materials and capital equipment has become a nightmare for most companies as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) battles long foreign payment queues, an official has said.
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) board chair Mrs Willia Bonyongwe revealed this yesterday in the tax authority’s revenue performance report for the first quarter ended 31 March 2017.
She acknowledged the difficult macro-economic environment that has seen industry operations being hampered by delays in foreign payments due to the tight liquidity situation in the economy and biting cash shortages.
The beginning of the tobacco marketing season mid-last month as well as the implementation of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which restricts importation of locally manufactured products, have not eased the crisis as much as anticipated, despite improvement in product quality and volume of sales, she aid.
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) is now indebted to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to the tune of $5 million after corrupt staff members converted pool cars to their personal use.
This was revealed in the 2016 Zacc annual report that was tabled in the National Assembly this week by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his capacity as Justice minister.
Although Zacc is supposed to uproot corruption, the constitutional body admitted in its report that its officers had engaged in corruption, bringing the anti-graft body into ridicule.
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