HARARE,– Zimbabwe’s tax agency on Tuesday said it surpassed its August revenue target of $267. 66 million by 15 percent due to automation and an anti-corruption drive.
Zimbabwe’s national budget is entirely funded by taxes and borrowings from local banks because it cannot borrow from foreign financial institutions due to arrears dating back to 1999.
“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is confident of surpassing the 2017 annual target as the robust revenue enhancement measures being implemented are bearing fruit, with net collections for the month of August 2017 exceeding the target by 15 percent.
“Gross collections amounted to US$338.29 million while refunds for the month were at US$30.35 million, resulting in net collections of US$307.95 million against a target of US$267.66 million,” said ZIMRA in an update.
The collection was also 20 percent higher compared to $256 million collected during the same period last year.
“All major revenue heads – except for Individual Tax which slightly missed the target by 1.08 percent – surpassed the set targets for the month,” ZIMRA said.
Corporate Income Tax contributed $17.26 million against a target of $8.70 million, but the tax head’s performance continued to be affected by retrenchments, salary cuts and inconsistent income payments by some employers.
A total of $61.94 million was realised from Excise Duty which was 10.87 percent above the target of $55.87 million, the bulk of it coming from fuel imports (77 percent).
“The positive performance of Excise Duty can be attributed to an increase in fuel imports due to the availability of foreign currency for priority imports. The implementation of the Electronic Cargo Tracking System is also substantially plugging loopholes for transit fraud, resulting in more declared fuel for the domestic market.”
ZIMRA said it would intensify debt recovery measures, enhance automation, invoice management and the Electronic Cargo Tracking System and strive to control the refund bill.
“It is anticipated that the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority’s (ZERA) fuel marking project will also assist in the detection of improperly imported fuel, which will in turn increase controls against transit fraud and recoveries from post-importation checks on fuel importers,” it said.