The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is reportedly going for the big spenders and “everyone, even a person who buys an expensive watch” should explain how he or she got the money.
This was said, according to The Sunday Mail, by ZIMRA board chairperson Willia Bonyongwe, who said the revenue authority s going to carry out life-style audits.
Zimbabwe has been surviving on taxes since it cannot get any financial credit because of its outstanding arrears with international financial institutions mainly the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
“The audits are going to be a permanent feature of our tax compliance measures. If we hear that you bought an expensive watch, for example, we will be keen to know whether you are paying tax or not,” Bonyongwe was quoted as saying.
ZIMRA boss Happias Kuzvinzwa added: “Money has a tendency of leaving footprints, and what we are simply doing is following those footprints. If you are running a business, for instance, and that business is expanding, we will definitely ask for your profit-and-loss (statement). There is no way you can expand or build houses if you don’t have the income; or drive big and beautiful cars without an income. So, those are the things we are looking at. It’s that simple; you can’t spend what you don’t have. Therefore, we just read your expenditure against your income since your expenses mirror your income.
“This is not personal, neither is it political or a witch-hunt. We are just following those footprints because you can’t leave a lie and pretend not to have money. It will stick out because generally, if you have money, you spend, and if we discover that we will simply ask for the State’s share.”
Ed: What a noble objective. But why not start with ZIMRA staff itself and then go on to politicians and members of Parliament, after all, they should be required to declare their assets before they are elected and after.