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.