US$110 million lost to Tax evasion

By Theophilus Chuma

OVER US$100 million has been lost through tax evasion with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority now piling pressure on tax evaders.

According to the latest update issued by the tax agency, collections for this year went up by over one hundred percent as a result of strict and tighter measures to plug tax evasion.

With the second republic dealing with economic sabotage in various sectors-ZIMRA is playing the ball as confirmed by the revenue collector’s Assurance Director Ms Regina Chinamasa at a meeting on the National Anti-Corruption Strategy convened in the capital this Thursday.

She noted that ZIMRA is vigorously pursuing tax evasion with several offenders set to face prosecution.

“For 2021 the first quarter, we had $39 million and less than US$1 million, but by the third quarter, we had made $431 million and US$3.1 million in terms of actual recoveries. We also raised assessments. In terms of quantum committed through tax evasion. So far we have raised assessments of over 110 million US dollars which then given indications of noncompliance,” said Commissioner Regina Chinamasa, ZIMRA Revenue Assurance.

Tax evasion is one of the major issues affecting the economy as experts also highlight underhand dealings where businesses are quoting prices in foreign currency and remitting tax in the local currency.

During the same meeting, revelations were also made on asset recoveries valued at US$30 million.

“We have the cases of now before the courts five of which are before the High Court worth about US$5.7 million. ZRP has 24 cases that they have submitted to the NPA and these are cases involving unexplained wealth. So far they have managed to submit eight cases before the High Court worth about 25 million United States dollars,” said Charity Matumbi, General Manager Legal and Asset Recovery (ZACC).

Anti-graft authorities are scaling up efforts to fight the vice that is bleeding the economy of billions of dollars annually.

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