THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has refuted allegations that it has closed many companies in the country due to high taxation, saying companies were shutting themselves down by failing to liquidate their debts.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Companies have been accusing Zimra of destroying their operations by garnishing their accounts, in the event that they fail to pay Zimra dues.
Companies whose accounts have been garnished by Zimra would not be able to transact. Zimra is currently owed close to $2,8 billion by companies and individuals in unpaid taxes.
However, Zimra acting commissioner general Happias Kuzvinzwa recently told media practitioners at a media workshop in Bulawayo that companies were to blame for destroying their operations.
“We call upon taxpayers with arrears to comply and remit their tax arrears. Your tax collector is aware of the challenges people face and we have and we will extend an olive branch to those that would want to comply,” Kuzvinzwa said.
Kuzvinzwa encouraged companies to come forward and agree on a payment plan for their debts because it will never go away.
“Most cases those who fail to remit tax arrears find themselves the debt increasing by way of interest because debts attract interests of 10% per annum. When you decide not to pay, you only increasing your debt and that debt will eventually sink your company,” Kuzvinzwa said.
“Of course, when people speak, they would say Zimra is closing companies but we have not closed any company. We want to challenge anyone with evidence that Zimra is closing companies to come forward”.
He said tax debt consisted mainly of non-remittance of value-added-tax and pay-as-you-earn which would have been paid or accrued to the taxpayer in the course of the business in the tax period.
He said the authority would continue engaging companies which owe taxes, customs and excise duties and to the majority of debtors, payment plans to liquidate their debts have been agreed upon.