The Sunday Mail
A six-member International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation says the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra)’s systems and human capital are up to standard, although there is scope for further improvement.
This was said last week by Ms Rebecca Sparkman, the head of delegation and an IMF senior economist (Revenue administration II, Fiscal affairs department), in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Mail Business in Harare last week following a tax administration diagnostics assessment (Tadat) of Zimra.
The assessment focused on Zimra’s strengths and weaknesses, and how the company’s tax administration systems compares with the tenets of good corporate governance.
“The Tadat is actually for the individual countries. This report that we produce at the end is for the individual countries so that they can help improve reforms and priorities for their tax administration,” said Ms Sparkman.
“So we found a lot of strengths and one or two things which they can do better. They can do those reforms and they are looking to do that so that they can move Zimra up in some of these areas to international good practice and in others, maintain wherever they are . . .
“But I will say, we see a good organisation with a lot of great people who can really make great reforms.”
The IMF delegation came at the invitation of former Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mr Patrick Chinamasa.
Zimbabwe becomes the 45th country to take up Tadat.
However, the outcome of the assessment is not used to compare the performance of individual countries, but to help them when reforming their systems.
Zimra Commissioner General Ms Faith Mazani said the Tadat Secretariat visit was appropriate as it came at a time when the organisation is concluding its strategic plan for 2014 to 2018.
Currently, Zimra is developing its strategic plan for 2019 to 2023.
Ms Mazani said there are a number of reforms they need to implement to improve efficiencies.
“The assessment that the Tadat gives us, and the report that we are going to receive from the Secretariat, is going to be very important for us because it then points out to us the areas that we need to improve on.
“We are currently developing our strategic plan (2019 to 2023) (and) we are looking at a number of areas where we need to improve.”
Ms Mazani said she was excited that the IMF team said Zimra has “very strong capacity in terms of professionalism”.
The Tadat also looked at Zimra’s filing compliance, payment compliance and the systems provided to taxpayers.
Zimra is currently calling on taxpayers to voluntarily comply with their tax obligations.
“As you are aware, we have major challenges in our infrastructure, we have major challenges in the systems that we are going to work on and we are looking at improving our processes,” said Ms Mazani.
As part of improving its processes, Ms Mazani says they have identified four Ps — people issues, processes, partnerships and projects.
In terms of “people issues”, Zimra plans to improve the capacity of employees to enhance productivity.
Ms Mazani said the organisation will partner with a number of development partners to improve on the areas pointed out by Tadat.