By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) says it collected Net Revenue of $23.19 billion against a target of $18.6 billion, which is 24.65 % above target in 2019.
The authority’s Commissioner General Faith Mazani said this Thursday at the organisation’s annual general meeting.
“Widening of Tax Base with 21 333 new taxpayers were registered in 2019 (14% to close at 172 497 active taxpayers as at 31 December 2019),” Mazani said.
“ZIMRA embarked on massive taxpayer education campaigns, direct engagement and roadshows targeted at SMES with LCs mainly being interfaced through direct engagements.
“Refunds constituted 3.1% of net collections with capital expenditure for the year was $25.3m against a budget of $132.2m.
“Recurrent expenditure was $749.6 million, hence cost of collection (Excluding depreciation) was 2.39% compared to 2.49% in 2018 and 3% International benchmark.
“ZIMRA Income statement had a deficit of $101.6m compared to a deficit of $4.1m in 2018.”
Mazani said Tax Debt position was reduced by 5% from $4.6 billion as at 31 December 2018 to $4.46 billion as at 31 December 2019 after including the additional debt incurred in 2019.
“Revenue Forgone, through Zero Rated or VAT Exemptions totalled $13.82 billon, while Revenue Forgone through Trade Agreements and Duty Exemptions amounted to $3.19 billion,” she said.
“The Authority continues to monitor revenue forgone and advise the Government accordingly.”
The ZIMRA boss said the value of imported goods in 2019 was $43.51 billion (541% nominal growth from 2018) while the value of exported goods totalled $39.54 billion (846% nominal growth).
While the country had a negative trade balance of $3.97 billion, exports grew more than the imports, she said.
On economic factors affecting the smooth operation of the authority, Mazani mentioned high inflation which closed the year at 521%, shortage of foreign currency which increased in parallel rates, acute fuel and power shortages negatively affecting productivity and illegal adoption of US dollar use in the market, among others.
“Impact on Zimra was that, inflation reduces REAL net revenue growth, reduced productivity and economic activity translates to reduced real revenue,” she said.
“Revenue leakage from illegal adoption of the US dollar, drought and natural disasters such as Cyclone Idai have negative impact on GDP which translates to reduced revenue.”
She also said the country’s top six revenue performers, were Excise Duty (17.76%), individuals (14.80%), companies (13.75%), VAT on local sales (13.18%), VAT on imports (12.91%) and IMTT (11.44%).