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Zimbabwe parliament calls for lifestyle audits

Government should implement lifestyle audits, a critical tool in the fight against corruption and fraud, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts has said.

The  chairman of the committee, Brian Dube  said: “What we have suggested in our recommendations is that we must  come up with lifestyle audits where the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority
(ZIMRA) actually profiles people and makes sure that, using a certain benchmark criteria, it will be able to follow up on people and tax them according to the lifestyle audits that would have happened.

“If a person is able to buy a Lamborghini  for US$500 000 then ZIMRA should be able to follow how much tax they would have paid in that year. But, we have very weak systems to allow ZIMRA to do that.”

Dube said Finance and Economic Development minister, Mthuli Ncube, should focus on taxing the wealthy and lift the burden from the poor.

“The tax system in the country is prejudicial to the poor people whom I believe are being overtaxed. We do not have a systematic process relating to wealth tax to make sure that those who have more pay  significantly more taxes. This means that the poor are now taking less home which contributes to the suffering of the majority,” he said.

Tax Matrix CEO, Marvellous Tapera, also told Business Times that laws should be put in place to ensure that the informal sector is also taxed.

“It is the employed that continue to pay more taxes. There is a large group of people that are operating in the informal sector  not paying employment tax and corporate tax.

Tapera said the ZWL$25 000 tax free threshold  needs to be reviewed upwards as it is no longer relevant when you really  look at how much it is in the real currency.

“Minister Ncube  should look to revise it in the upcoming Mid-year Fiscal Policy”, Tapera said.

Ncube is expected to present his Mid-term Fiscal Policy Review within two months.

-Businesstimes

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