THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has turned to vendors and flea markert traders as it goes all out to raise money to ease the liquidity crunch.
Zimra officials descended on vendors in the city recently telling then to register with the revenue authority to enable them to pay tax and contribute money to the fiscus.
The development comes days after the government admitted that it could no longer guarantee fixed pay dates for civil servants because of the cash crunch.
The government is now issuing civil servants with undated payslips and the new arrangement is set to remain in place for as long as the national cash squeeze lasts, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Tongai Muzenda told senators last week.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has lamented the cash squeeze further compounded by failure to access financial support from other countries, including China.
This has seen Zimra turning onto local businesses, tightening the noose on all forms of enterprises and imposing garnishee orders on their bank accounts and major debtors to recover tax.
Dumisani Ncube, secretary of the Bulawayo Upcoming Traders’ Association, yesterday confirmed that Zimra had turned on their members, who include vendors and flea market traders.
“We had a meeting recently with the Zimra officials where they were saying our members should be registered and their vending operations formalised so that we pay tax,” he said.
“We are not against paying tax and we thus raised our concerns on this. We are saying most of our members are struggling to even raise a dollar and to tax them is to just burden them and condemn them to suffering.
“The government should first boost or capacitate the vendors so that they are in a position to pay tax just like everyone.
“We are having a follow-up meeting next week with Zimra regional managers on this issue and we hope our concerns will be taken on board.”
Zimra has being tightening the noose on all forms of businesses since the beginning of the year imposing garnishee orders on their bank accounts and major debtors to recover tax.
Reports yesterday said Zimra had failed to meet its revenue target for the first half of the year owing to the current liquidity crunch and company closures, piling pressure on the government that is desperate for money to oil its day to day operations.
Zimra collected $1,72 billion against a target of $1,74 billion, according to Commissioner-General Gershem Pasi.