THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has collected $4,7 billion in the 11 months to November 2018, surpassing the annual revenue target of $4,3 billion set by Government.
Given the stellar performance so far, Zimra is now targeting to collect $5 billion this year, given that about 35 percent of taxes were expected to be paid yesterday, being the last day of the quarterly payment dates (QPDs).
This was said by Zimra Commissioner General Ms Faith Mazani in Harare yesterday during a media briefing to unpack the authority’s five-year strategy (2019-2023).
Ms Mazani said Zimra had consistently surpassed its monthly revenue targets since January.
“Our net collections from January to November have been consistently above monthly targets,” said Ms Mazani. “Our annual target from Government was $4,3 billion and this was met just before the end of November.
“As of November, we were 13 percent above the (annual) target.” Zimra is now collecting equal to 18 percent of the country’s GDP.
Before Government rebased the GDP to $25,8 billion from $18 billion the percentage revenue to GDP ratio stood at 28 percent.
Ms Mazani said the commendable revenue performance was spurred by various initiatives that included encouraging taxpayers to honour their obligations through text messages.
Zimra also introduced tax amnesty to companies that were operating outside the tax bracket, while also setting up a fully-fledged and standalone debt recovery unit whose aim is to increase focus on debt collection. The authority also revised the penalty loading with effect from July 1, which resulted in reduced penalties.
Further, Zimra introduced flexible payment plans for selected clients, and also improved its working relations with city councils, as part of efforts to increase revenue collection.
Ms Mazani was “hopeful” that the $5 billion target they set themselves would be achieved.
“Our target from the Ministry (of Finance) was $4,3 billion and like I said, as at end of November, we had surpassed that target. But we had promised the ministry that we were going to collect $5 billion and we will collect this revenue by year end.
Buoyed by the strong performance this year, and in tandem with its strategic plan for 2019-2025, Zimra has set itself a target of collecting $6,2 billion next year.
“In 2019, we have set ourselves a target of growing revenue collection by 32 percent to $6,2 billion.
“That would take revenue collection’s contribution to GDP to 21 percent by next year and in 2022, we plan to collect $7,2 billion. We are targeting to reach at least 25 percent (of contribution to GDP) by 2025,” said Ms Mazani.
Meanwhile, Zimra’s five-year strategy is linked to “Vision 2030”, under which Government intends to transform the country into an upper middle income economy with a per capita GDP of $3 500.
It is expected that by 2030, citizens will have “decent jobs”, and a number of projects have already started which have employed thousands of people.
More jobs are expected to be created from the various investments that are being processed while others such as the $4,2 billion platinum project by Karo Resources has already commenced.