As part of its business advocacy and lobbying mandates the ZNCC on the 30th of August held a meeting with ZIMRA to discuss tax and fiscal issues affecting businesses. Some of the key challenges that were highlighted are:-
- ASYCUDA is not reliable or timeous as it is always down thereby affecting the lead time of imports.
E-filing is difficult to access sometimes and will also get congested on the due dates forcing submission of manual returns which still have to be re-submitted if you need a tax clearance.
Taxation levels too high be it Customs Duty , PAYE , Corporate Tax that this is affecting many sectors who are closing down due to high taxes.
Withholding VAT Certificates are taking long to come resulting in business not being able to claim withheld VAT, shipments being delayed at boarder and businesses paying demurrage charges.
- Departments/Sections should coordinate their assignments/audits to avoid asking for the same information from clients
- Quality control and standardisation of work is poor, what ZIMRA Bulawayo does is different from Harare
ZIMRA acknowledged all the raised challenges and responded by saying:-
- They have adopted a new approach i.e. to promote voluntary compliance than forcing
- ASYCUDA system has not been performing up to expectations from Dec 2017 – Jan 2018. As a result, steps has been taken to ensure such problems will not recur by upgrading and acquiring new hardware. A single window has also been introduced to eliminate the unnecessary stakeholders
- Have establish a facility for pre-clearance i.e. it can clear goods before they reach the boarder to avoid congestion and delays
- They are on a mission to tackle corruption by rotating staff members although the process comes with costs of educating certain individuals
- They have introduced an Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) concept – a promotional facility for exporters and importers that have good records of compliance and have encouraged business to take advantage of it.
ZNCC further suggested to host a business breakfast meeting with ZIMRA, to allow the business community meet up with the new Commissioner General as well as have the essential questions answered directly by the ZIMRA personnel.