Chinamasa against lifestyle audit

HARARE - Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said he is against the current lifestyle audit being carried out by various statutory boards on a number of individuals across the country.

Chinamasa said the audits, which are being done to combat corruption, are “inaccurate and inhumane.”

“You know we have had a debate in my ministry over the so-called lifestyle audits and generally when people talk about lifestyle audits they are talking the mansions that have mushroomed all over our cities. Even in Rusape, that is in my constituency, you will see double, three storey buildings and Rusape is a very small place,” he said.

“Now, my view is that taking a lifestyle audit infringes too much into the privacy of the individual and can be quite detrimental in the sense that there will be room for abuse as you will decide who you want to go after generally and it’s not good, it’s not good,” the Treasury chief said Wednesday at a World Bank economic update symposium.

Chinamasa said instead of lifestyle audits, local authorities needed to establish a proper database documenting the country’s mansions then charge rates based on independent property evaluations.

“It raises unnecessary conflict in societies, but local authorities should be evaluating those mansions with a view of appropriately fixing the rates which are due in terms of those areas.

“The charges, the rate, are based on the value of improvement on the land so what I would want to urge local authorities is that yes, they should identify and have a proper database of the properties within their municipalities and evaluate the improvement to charge appropriate rates.

“If they want assistance in this, we can give you and the World Bank can also assist to basically put all property on a database and evaluate the improvements so that we have a proper basis for the charging,” said Chinamasa.

While local authorities have threatened to raid mansions through lifestyle audits, none have actively done so.

However, infamous for garnishee orders and faced with dwindling revenue collections, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has launched a blitzkrieg on the country’s wealthy individuals.

The tax collecting agency recently announced that it had embarked on lifestyle audits as one of its initiatives to improve tax compliance levels and to assist taxpayers with information on tax matters.

The audits are being carried out to verify compliance of individual taxpayers in terms of the statutes administered by Zimra, which include Income Tax Act, Capital Gains Act, Value Added Tax Act and Customs and Excise Act.

According to the Zimra website, lifestyle audits are carried out to assess and collect additional revenue, educate clients on how to correctly declare their income and make self-assessment of their tax status in terms of the law, promote compliance and update client’s tax affairs.

Comments (3)

What is inhuman are the roadblocks you inflict on the motoring public to rob them of their hard earned money. Budisai mari yemadiamonds yamuri kututira mumawarehouses

Munopenga - 24 June 2017

Vachinamasa be serious lets not protect rot.

Jojo - 24 June 2017

It is only thieves who are afraid of such audits as they will expose them and the looting they have done. Most of our leaders cannot honestly account for the assets they own right now hence the resistance.

Ngazvirehwe Sezvazviri - 24 June 2017

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