Magaya, church in soup for $28 million tax evasion, details

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By Mary Taruvinga

WALTER Magaya’s Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) church is in trouble with authorities for allegedly prejudicing government of $28 million in potential revenue through tax evasion after selling anointing oil.

One of PHD’s directors, Nelson Tawanda Marimo was on Friday taken to court facing charges of contravening the Value Added Tax Act.

Alternatively, he is accused of breaching the Income Tax Act, failing to keep proper records, failing to declare records and failure to uphold the Employees Act.

He appeared before Harare magistrate Learnmore Mapiye who remanded him out of custody to February 28 for trial.

The complainant is Tinashe Madakadze (41), Zimra chief investigating officer.

Prosecuting, Peter Kachirika alleged that PHD raises revenue from selling church regalia, anointing oil and holy water.

The church also operates a guest house at Yadah Hotel in Waterfalls.

According to the state, sometime in October 2018, the government conducted tax investigations and recovered financial statements from PHD extending from 2013 to 2017.

Financial statements were also recovered from the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe which were submitted by the church for loan application.

The statements showed that PHD had realised sales amounting to US$28 706 040 million during the period 2013 to 2017, and during that period, it did not submit income tax returns to ZIMRA.

On count two, during the same period, it is alleged that the church paid remuneration amounting to US$950 522.99 to Magaya’s wife, Tendai through bank transfer into her personal Stanbic Bank account.

PHD also transferred remuneration of US $2 403 658 to Walter Magaya’s Stanbic bank account and on both occasions, PHD evaded tax by not paying PAYE (pay as you earn ).

It is alleged that PHD had no records of all goods and services that is sells and purchases, which is a violation of VAT.

The church also failed to declare the exports made and had submitted VAT returns with false entries again with violation of the VAT Act.

Trial begins on February 28.

Marimo is represented by Everson Chatambudza.