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Zimra beats Q3 revenue target

Zimbabwe's gross revenue collections in the third quarter ended September amounted to $1,28 billion, surpassing the target of $1,089bn by nearly 18%, the tax agency said yesterday.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra)'s net revenue at $1,19 billion was 22,56% higher than the $967,76 million realised during the same period last year after refunds of $95,94m, but corporate tax grew to $4,55bn from $4,54bn in the previous quarter

"Revenue performance for the third quarter of 2018 surpassed set target for both gross and net collections. Gross collections amounted to $1,28 billion against a target of $1,089 billion. After deducting refunds of $95,94 million for the quarter, net collections stood at $1,19 billion, which translates to 8,84% above the expected $1,089 billion," Finance and Economic Development permanent secretary George Guvamatanga said.

"Net revenue collections for the third quarter improved by 22,56% from the $967,76 million realised during the third quarter of 2017. Major contributors to revenue were excise duty (21%), net VAT [value added tax] on local sales (19%) and Individuals (18%).

"Despite the positive performance, high debt continues to negatively affect optimum revenue collection. Debt, which recorded $4,54 billion as at end of second quarter, increased to $4,55 billion as at end of the third quarter."

Guvamatanga, who prepared the report under review pending appointment of a new Zimra board, said the taxman had launched a taxpayer education and engagement drive to improve voluntary compliance.

In terms of the major contributing tax heads, excise duty, a tax levied on certain locally-manufactured goods and other imported goods falling under the excise tariff, surpassed its initial projection by 5,38% to $216,04m.

This was from an initial target of $205,01m for the period under review.

The performance was spurred on by a reduction in excise duty on fuel and mobile data rates, which enhanced performance of the revenue head by increasing demand for fuel and data.

Guvamatanga said the implementation of the electronic cargo tracking system initiative contributed significantly towards the improved performance under this tax head.

The contribution of net VAT on local sales to overall revenue, though significant, was lower than last year owing to higher refunds in the period under review which was 53,39% higher to $94,67m from last year.

This resulted in collections of $199,24m, a 16,67% decrease from an initial target of $239,1m.

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