HARARE, April 20 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s state revenues amounted to $862 million in the quarter to March 31, six percent above target and 10 percent higher than the same period last year, the tax agency said on Thursday.
Zimbabwe, which missed its 2016 revenue target by four percent, expects to collect $3.7 billion this year.
Refunds of $35.84 million left net collections of $826.63 million in the just ended quarter, about 1,7 percent above target. Compared to the same quarter last year, net revenue grew 14 percent to $724.89 million.
The bulk of the revenues in the quarter were from Value Added Tax on local sales (22.42 percent), individual tax (20 percent) and excise duty (18 percent). Company tax contributed 11 percent while the rest of the revenue heads contributed 28 percent.
Individual tax, at $165.8 million, was 10 percent shy of the targeted $185 million as it was affected by job and salary cuts.
Corporate tax collections grew 76 percent to $92,6 million. Collections were 25 percent above the target of $74 million. The corporate income tax debt increased by 13 percent from $751 million to $847.33 million during the period under review.
“The increase in debt is due to enhanced audits, which result in prior year assessments being raised,” said the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) chairperson, Willia Bonyongwe.
Gross VAT on local sales collections at $220 million were 35 percent ahead of target, representing an 18 percent increase on the prior year collections. Net collections amounted to $185 million, 41 percent above last year’s collections after refunds of $36 million.
VAT debt as at the end of the quarter remained at $1 billion. VAT on imports grew by 2 percent to $86 million compared to last year.
Customs Duty at $66 million was two percent lower than last year and seven percent below the target of $71 million. Bonyongwe said government’s policy to restrict imports had negatively impacted on the revenue head.
Revenue from excise duty declined by 6 percent to $150 million.
“The performance of the revenue head can be attributed to low consumption of excisable products such as beer and tobacco due to the low disposable income and liquidity crisis in the absence of a credible alternative payment system,” said Bonyongwe.
“There is still need to improve connectivity and hardware investment to make plastic money universally accessible and efficient, even in urban areas.”
Bonyongwe said consumption of petroleum products had declined due to the country’s weak economic performance and also “significant smuggling and transit fraud.”
Petrol imports during the quarter declined from 113.86 million litres last year to 99.72 million litres. Diesel imports declined from 190.14 million litres during the first quarter last year to 180.93 million litres.
Mining royalties increased by 22 percent to $16 million reflecting the improvement in mineral production, particularly for gold and platinum and the recovery in global mineral prices.