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Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Zimra Intensifies War Against Corruption

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is engaging various stakeholders to map strategies to combat corruption relating to tax fraud which has come at a huge cost to the country’s coffers.

Zimra loses million of dollars in taxes through corruption every year and according to US-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) 2021 report; Zimbabwe has lost US$1 billion in the last 10 years through trade under-invoicing, which is just one form of tax fraud among many.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Mutare this morning, Zimra acting commissioner general, Regina Chinamasa said the authority was stepping up efforts to consolidate revenue.

“Zimra has been at the forefront of fighting corruption among its internal and external stakeholders who were involved in dishonest or fraudulent conduct resulting in the state being prejudiced of taxes and levies, resources which are key for the development of the economy,” said Chinamasa.

“Corruption breeds and sustains underdevelopment if left unchecked and we need to put an end to all such vices. Eradicating corruption is therefore a collective feat given its retrogressive impact on the economy and region.”

Taxes are a major source of Government revenue contributing averages of 88.1 percent between 1980 and 1989, and about 89 percent between 1990 and 1999, before peaking at 98 percent in 2005 of total income.

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More recently, according to the 2020 Midterm Fiscal Review, taxes constituted 97, 6% of Government revenue.

“This breakfast meeting and other similar engagements, therefore, present an opportunity to introspect and explore effective responses to the scourge. Our economy is heavily dependent on sustainable domestic revenue mobilization for social and infrastructural development.”

Major types of tax related corruption by companies and individuals includes tax evasion, under declaration, falsifying income records, hiding money, under-reporting income and institutionalized smuggling of goods among others.

There have been concerns over weak tax monitoring systems by the authority which has led to massive leakages.

“As ZIMRA it is our pledge not to allow Zimbabwe to be the final destination or transit of smuggled goods,” said Chinamasa.

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