The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has warned that it would be more ruthless to tax cheats and defaulters after the expiry of a tax amnesty it granted last month. The tax amnesty, which became effective on October 1, 2014, will expire on March 31, 2015.
It will grant amnesty in respect of non-compliance which occurred during the period beginning February 1, 2009 and September 30, 2014, during which period tax payers with outstanding obligations can voluntarily inform ZIMRA about their positions.
The amnesty will give tax payers who acknowledge their tax obligations or irregularities amnesty on penalties, interest and prosecution for non-payment and other irregularities in connection with all taxes administered by ZIMRA. The ZIMRA commissioner general, Gershem Pasi, said if the tax collector had been ruthless in its clampdown on tax defaulter before, it will become even “more ruthless” after the tax amnesty window.
The amnesty… (is) a golden opportunity for business to put tax affairs in order…But after this amnesty, we would be more ruthless,” Pasi said. He said the tax amnesty presented an opportunity for all persons and businesses to disclose incomplete or unreported information relating to the payment of tax and to settle the principal tax, duties or amounts due.
Pasi said the amnesty, which was done to harmonize relations between the tax collector and business, had “changed perception” towards ZIMRA. He said business’ response was encouraging and hoped it would ensure business operations improve so that they will be able to pay tax consistently on time but warned that they would be more ruthless but friendly when collecting tax going forward.
“In exchange of the information, the person will not be liable for penalty, interest or prosecution for the disclosed irregularity,” Pasi assured delegates.
A public notice by ZIMRA said issues already covered in incomplete or on-going audits and investigations and other enforcement activities by ZIMRA were not covered by the amnesty.
“ZIMRA would like to urge its valued clients to take full advantage of this rare opportunity and regularise their tax affairs,” the notice said.