Zimbabwe to become tax centre for Africa


While Zimbabweans are lamenting about high taxation rates made worse by the introduction of the drought levy, and excessive and rigid customs duties and regulations which seem to be aimed at discouraging imports, international agencies seem to be impressed with the country’s revenue collection system so much that Zimbabwe has just been chosen to host the United Nations Revenue and Adminstration Centre (UNRACA).

The centre will seek to improve revenue administration in both customs and taxes throughout Africa and will also deal with the need to train people in tax, customs policy and administration in a “train the trainers” programme.

It will also harmonise revenue policies and educate the public on the benefits of paying tax and the relevance payment of taxes has on the ability of a country to implement social programmes.

Zimbabwe indeed provides a fine example. In the financial year just ended, the government raised, $3.8 billion through taxes on incomes and profits. Income tax from individuals brought in $2.4 billion and that from companies $1.3 billion.

Other taxes levied were non-resident shareholders’ tax, non-residents’ tax on interest, resident shareholders’ tax, branch profits tax, capital gains tax and non-residents tax on fees.

It is estimated that the government will raise $4.3 billion in taxes in the current financial year. Individuals are expected to contribute $2.8 billion an companies $1.4 billion.

The government also collected $4.3 billion through taxes on goods and services and a further $149.9 million through miscellaneous taxes. Sales tax brought in $1.5 billion, customs duties, $2.3 billion, excise duties $519 million, betting tax $14.6 million, stamp duties and fees $76.2 million, estate duty $25 million and holiday currency tax $41.6 million.

It is estimated that taxes on goods and services will raise $4.7 billion in the current financial year with $2.4 billion from customs duties and $1.7 billion form sales tax. A further $163.3 million is expected to be collected from miscellaneous taxes with holiday currency tax raising $45 million.

In addition, the government will raise a further $200 million through the drought relief levy which will be five percent of income chargeable on the annual assessment of taxpayers concerned. The levy will be in respect of 1992-93 tax years in the case of companies and the 1993 tax year in the case of individuals.

The levy from individuals will be collected through a 10 percent levy on PAYE (Pay as You Earn) from October 1992 to March 1993.

Taxes alone at $8.3 billion contributed nearly 90 percent of the government’s total revenue of $9 billion in the financial year just ended. They are expected to raise $9.1 billion of the estimated $10.1 billion revenue in the current financial year.

The remainder of the government revenue comes form investments and property which should amount to $411.7 million, fees for departmental facilities and services, $163.8 million, sale of state property, and judicial fines which brought in $22 million last year.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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