Mthuli introduces US$30 monthly tax on trinket traders

SMALL business operators plying their trade in partitioned compartments in the country’s CBDs have been slapped with a US$30 monthly presumptive tax to be collected and relayed to government by building owners.

The harsh policy move was announced in parliament by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube while presenting his 2021 budget Thursday.

“Honourable Members would be aware that Government has implemented a presumptive tax structure on informal businesses that include micro and small enterprises, with a view to ensure that they contribute to the Fiscus,” Ncube said.

“A number of enterprises operate from designated business premises where the landlords are either Local Authorities or private property owners such as the Gulf Complex and Kwame Mall, among others. Their place of business is, thus, comprised of partitioned units in commercial buildings.

“The fixed nature of business, thus, presents an opportunity for the tax administration to improve tax collections from presumptive taxes. I, therefore, propose to introduce a presumptive tax of an equivalent of US$30 per unit per month.

“Landlords will be responsible for the collection of the above taxes which take effect from 1 January 2021.”

Added the minister: “Landlords that fail to collect and remit the tax will be subject to a penalty equivalent to the amount of tax payable and interest. Furthermore, landlords have the responsibility to keep accurate records regarding the number of occupants or operators in respective properties, in order to facilitate administration of tax.”

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