Excise drives Zimra collections

HARARE - Excise duty was the highest contributor to Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) collections for the first three months of 2018 after coming in at $233,3 million, 17,65 percent above target.

Zimra chairperson Willia Bonyongwe said the tax head had contributed 21 percent to net collections of $1 billion closely followed by net Value Added Tax on Local Sales, surpassing a $198,32 million target.

“Revenue collections increased by 55,25 percent from the $150,29 million that was collected during the first quarter of 2017.

“Major contributors to excise duty revenue were fuel, airtime and beer, which contributed 71,41 percent, 13,68 percent and 8,48 percent respectively.

“The remainder of the revenue was realised from tobacco, wines and spirits, second-hand motor vehicles and electric lamps,” Bonyongwe said.

The Zimra boss pointed out that the good performance was “remarkable given the reduction in excise on fuel during the quarter.

“This is an indication of the success of the Electronic Cargo Tracking System and its positive impact on revenue.

“Going forward this is expected to increase as the number of seals improve and the Authority achieves 100 percent sealing of all risk cargo.

“The improvement in disposable incomes also resulted in increased consumption of excisable goods leading to a positive performance during the quarter,” Bonyongwe said.

Meanwhile gross and net collections for the first quarter of 2018 surpassed the set targets and also improved from last year’s collections for the same period.

“Gross collections were 8,1 percent above the target of $1,029 billion, with collections amounting to $1,1 billion.

“After deducting total refunds of $55,19 million for the quarter, net collections stood at $1,058 billion, which translates, to 2,74 percent above the expected $1,029 billion.

“Refunds for the quarter consisted of VAT Refunds ($54,25 million), Customs Duty Refunds ($0,139 million) as well as Rummage and other refunds ($0,80 million),” she said.

The taxwoman pointed out that the issue of refunds remained a major concern for the board.

“I am glad to report that an extensive investigation of the refunds was done and the final report is expected soon,” she said.

Bonyongwe pointed out that the positive revenue performance was due to the authority’s efforts in revenue enhancing projects and debt follow-up, a resolute stance on corruption as well as the increased use of electronic and mobile money in transacting.

“Despite the positive performance, high debt continues to downplay the authority’s efforts to enhance revenue collections,” she said. — The Financial Gazette


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