Zimra readies business for VAT reduction

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Harare, (New Ziana) –Tax collector, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) said on Sunday local businesses must be ready to effect a 0.5 percentage point reduction in value added tax (VAT) which comes into effect on January 1.

The move, which will likely result in minor price reductions, follows the decision by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, in the 2020 national budget presented last month, to reduce VAT to 14.5 percent from 15 percent effective the beginning of the year.

“Registered operators, businesses registered for VAT and those that require to register, should ensure that they are ready to implement the new rate of tax,” Zimra said.

“Accounting systems, transacting systems and devices for recording taxable transactions (fiscal devices) should be adjusted accordingly in time for implementation.”

According to Zimra, VAT is an indirect tax on consumption, charged on the supply of taxable goods and services.

It is charged on transactions rather than directly on income or profit, and is also levied on the importation of goods and services.

VAT was introduced in 2004 to replace sales tax.

While the tax reduction is meant to be beneficial to the generality of the population, its effects are unlikely to be felt due to inflation, which keeps pushing up the prices of goods and services.

In the 2020 budget, that ran under the theme, “Gearing for Higher Productivity, Growth and Job Creation,” Prof Ncube announced a number of tax and non-tax incentives to stimulate domestic production in the local economy.

Experts argue that if consumers are able to pay less for products due to a tax cut, they will be encouraged to spend more money and in some instance even encourage them to work harder thereby increasing productivity.
New Ziana

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