The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) encourages taxpayers to review their tax affairs and make voluntary disclosures where there is any income omitted from returns submitted or where there are any tax obligations that the taxpayer may not have complied with. The intention is to encourage voluntary compliance from taxpayers and avoid charging of penalties which affects business operations.
The ZIMRA Commissioner General published Public Notice No. 22 of 2018 which stated that: “In order to encourage taxpayers to come forward and volunteer disclosure of omitted income and other tax compliance obligations, the Commissioner General will grant full remission of penalties as part of an ongoing program notwithstanding the expiry of the amnesty on 30 June 2018.”
Application for Voluntary Disclosure
Any person can inform ZIMRA of the intention to make a voluntary disclosure and go ahead to make the voluntary disclosure.
This includes individuals, companies, associations, partners, partnerships, trusts, sole proprietors, small businesses, large businesses, local businesses, foreign business, and non-residents, among others.
Voluntary Disclosure items
- Any person who omitted any amounts of income from returns submitted can make a voluntary disclosure. The returns are for the period 30 June 2018 going back to any such period the income was omitted.
- Any person who failed to comply with tax obligations can also make a voluntary disclosure. The tax obligations include registration, submitting returns on time, making payments on time, maintaining records and information, fiscalisation of operations, among others.
- Any person who failed to declare goods and or services for duty purposes can also make a voluntary disclosure.
- Where the taxpayer is in doubt of the way they are treating transaction for tax purposes and require an opinion from ZIMRA.
Requirements for making Voluntary Disclosure
- A full disclosure should be made in the application form. Where information is not fully available estimates can be made and explanations/justifications given.
- A Voluntary Disclosure Form should be completed and submitted to the nearest ZIMRA offices stating the omitted income and other compliance obligations not complied with.
- Any issues that are already known by ZIMRA should not be included in the voluntary disclosure.
- Voluntary Disclosures should be made before the Initial Interview is carried out for persons notified of an audit or investigation.
- The disclosure does not include refunds not claimed.
- The application shall include a proposed payment plan with justification for the proposal.
- Outstanding registration, returns or information should addressed by 31 December 2018.
- ZIMRA shall consider applications and respond within 30 days
- Clients are permitted to provide any additional information during processing
- Clients shall pay the tax due over the agreed payment plan period.
Benefits of making a Voluntary Disclosure
- Penalties, civil penalties, fines and additional tax shall be waived in full
- Outstanding tax debts are paid on agreed payment terms
- Business is free from the burden of non-compliance
- Access to tax clearances is opened for compliant taxpayers
- Business managers and owners can focus on running their businesses thereby reducing costs of compliance.
NB: The interest on outstanding debts remains due and payable.
Assurances to the Applicant
- The information voluntarily disclosed shall not trigger an audit, investigation or prosecution
- The voluntary disclosure benefits shall be withdrawn where the client fails to honour payment arrangements agreed on with ZIMRA, without seeking for alternative agreement payment arrangements.
For how long is the voluntary disclosure programme available to taxpayers?
Applications for voluntary disclosure shall be made from 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2018.
For more information, please approach your nearest ZIMRA office.
This article was compiled by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) for information purposes only