THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector
 
 
    HOME THE PROJECT DIRECTORYJOINARCHIVESEARCH E:ACTIVISMBLOGSMSFREEDOM FONELINKS CONTACT US
 

 


Back to Index

Finance Bill, 2005 [H.B.26, 2004]
August 18, 2005

Read Finance (No. 2) Act, 2005 (Act 8/2005)

Download this legislation
- Word 97 version (111KB)
- Acrobat PDF version (118KB
)
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking here.

 

FINANCE BILL, 2005

MEMORANDUM

This Bill will amend the Finance Act [Chapter 23:04], the Income Tax Act [Chapter 23:06], the Value Added Tax Act [Chapter 23:12], the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23:02] and the Revenue Authority Act [Chapter 13:14]. These amendments will give effect to certain fiscal measures mentioned by the Minister of Finance in his mid-term fiscal policy review statement delivered on the 4th August, 2005, and make certain modifications to improve revenue collection and administration. In more detail, the individual clauses of the Bill provide as follows:

Clause 1
This clause sets out the Bill's short title.

Clause 2
Section 14 of the Finance Act prescribes the rates of income tax payable by various classes of taxpayers.

The clause will alter the income ''bands'' according to which rates of income tax are calculated by deleting the lowest existing band. The effect of this is to alter the minimum level of income that will attract income tax. At present this minimum is $12 000 000 a year, and this clause will increase that amount to $18 000 000.

Clause 3
This clause amends section 22A of the Finance Act, which fixes the rate of the tobacco levy - which at present is payable by both sellers and buyers of tobacco. The effect of the amendment is to relieve tobacco sellers from liability for the levy.

Clause 4
This clause will replace section 22C of the Finance Act, which at present fixes the rate of tax imposed on informal traders by the Twenty-Sixth Schedule to the Income Tax Act. This tax will be replaced by a more general tax on the basis of the presumed income (commonly known as a ''presumptive tax'') of such of those persons engaging in any of the undertakings specified in the Twenty-Sixth Schedule as did not furnish a return under section 37 of the Income Tax Act in any year of assessment prior to the Finance Act, 2005 (see clause 8). The classes of persons upon whom it is proposed to charge the presumptive tax are (in addition to informal traders) small-scale miners and operators of taxicabs and omnibuses.

Clause 5
This clause will amend the Schedule to Chapter I of the Finance Act, which sets out the rates of income tax. The effect of the amendment is excise the lowest existing band of taxable income in conformity with the amendment referred to under clause 2.

Clause 6
This clause will amend section 2(1) of the Income Tax Act, which includes definitions of words and phrases used throughout the Act. The purpose of the amendment is to insert a definition of the phrase ''tax clearance certificate'', which is a document that will be required for certain purposes of the Income Tax as amended by clauses 7, 9, 10 and 16 below. The definition of ''year of assessment'' will also be amended to accommodate the excision of the lowest band of taxable income with effect from the 1st September, 2005.

Clause 7
The new section 36C which this clause will substitute in the Income Tax Act, when read with the new Twenty-Sixth Schedule substituted by clause 16, will create a new presumptive tax to replace the informal traders tax. Persons who, before this Bill becomes an Act, furnished a return under section 37 of the Income Tax Act, will not be liable to pay the new tax or, if they pay it, must continue to furnish returns under section 37 of the Income Tax Act. For details of the tax, see clauses 4 above and 16 below.

Clause 8
This clause amends section 61 of the Income Tax Act (which deals with the appointment by companies of officers for tax accounting purposes) in two respects. Firstly, it will extend the provisions of this section to private business corporations. Secondly, it will update the penalty for non-compliance with this section to an amount not exceeding the maximum amount for a level five fine (presently $100 000).

Clause 9
This clause will amend section 80 of the Income Tax Act, which makes special provision for persons (''payees'') who enter into contracts with the Government, statutory bodies, quasi-Governmental institutions or taxpayers who are registered as such in the records of the Commissioner General, and who have not submitted income tax returns for the most recent year of assessment. The paying officer of the Government or the statutory body, quasi-Governmental institution or taxpayer concerned is presently obliged to withhold 10% of all payments due to the payees under the contracts and pay the withheld amounts to the Commissioner-General. These amounts are then set off against the income tax due by the payees when their tax liability is finally assessed.

The scope of this section needs clarifying in order to facilitate its administration. Accordingly, contracts of employment and contracts for the sale or supply of goods and services entered into in the normal course of trade (such as purchases and sales at shops) are excluded from its scope. Other provisions inserted by this clause in section 80 stipulate, firstly, that a paying officer will not be required to withhold any part of a contract payment if the payee produces a valid tax clearance certificate issued by or on behalf of the Commissioner-General, and, secondly, that any statutory body, quasi-Governmental institution or registered taxpayer failing to withhold or to pay to the Commissioner any amount required to be withheld from a payee in terms of section 80 will be liable for the payment of that amount, plus a penalty of an amount equal to the outstanding amount if the failure was wilful.

Clause 10
The Finance (No. 2) Act, 2004, inserted a new section in the Income Tax Act requiring hauliers and tax operators to produce to the Commissioner of Road Transport a tax clearance certificate from the Commissioner-General before they can be licensed to operate under the Road Motor Transportation Act. The effect of this amendment is to replace that section by a more comprehensive provision that makes licensing under the Road Motor Transportation Act, the Mines and Minerals Act [Chapter 21:05], the Shop Licences Act and the Tourism Act conditional upon the production of a valid tax clearance certificate. In addition, persons registering new companies and private business corporations will, as a condition of their incorporation, be required to submit to the Registrar of Companies tax clearance certificates relating to the appointment of public officers of the new entities in accordance with section 61 of the Income Tax Act.

Clause 11
The inclusion by other clauses of this Bill of specific provisions in the Finance and Income Tax Acts relating to the presumptive tax means that no provisions relating to that tax need to be enacted by way of regulations. Accordingly, this clause repeals a provision to that effect in section 90 of the Income Tax Act. It also empowers the Minister responsible for finance to impose civil monetary penalties as well as criminal monetary penalties (fines) for breaches of regulations made under section 90 of the Income Tax Act.

Clause 12
This clause will provide for a credit against income tax for persons who have paid presumptive tax in terms of the new Twenty-Sixth Schedule to the Income Tax Act (as to which, see clause 16).

Clause 13
The Finance (No. 2) Act, 2004, inserted a new subparagraph in paragraph 4 of the Third Schedule to Income Tax Act exempting from tax amounts of up to $24 000 000 accruing to persons aged 59 years and above by way of rental income or interest from discounted securities. This clause splits the new subparagraph between paragraphs 4 and 10 of the Third Schedule because exempted interest income is more appropriately dealt with under paragraph 10.

The Financial Laws Amendment Act, 2004, exempted from tax interest on any deposit with a financial institution. The effect of this amendment is to restrict that exemption to deposit holders of or above the age of 59, up to a limit of the first $24 000 000 accruing to the taxpayer. The opportunity is also taken to correct the lettering of certain existing subparagraphs in paragraph 10(1) of the Third Schedule.

Clause 14
This clause will amend the Thirteenth Schedule (''Employees' Tax'') of the Income Tax Act, in three respects. Firstly, it makes appropriate amendments in connection with the taxation of income from employment that is earned in the form of convertible currency (as to which see clause 2 above). Secondly, it excludes from the scope of that Schedule the payment of remuneration to persons in domestic employment, as long as such remuneration does not exceed the sum of the monthly minimum wage fixed for those persons by Statutory Instrument 377 of 1922 and more than 50% of that monthly minimum wage (excluding any allowance, overtime or bonus). Finally, it will empower the Commissioner-General to appoint a resident representative of a non-resident employer who fails or refuses to appoint such representative when requested to do so by the Commissioner-General.

Clause 15
This clause will amend the Twenty-First Schedule (''Residents' Tax on Interest'') to the Income Tax Act, by making it clear that, in the case of Treasury bills, banker's acceptances and other discounted instruments, withholding tax on income earned from such instruments is to be deducted at the time the instrument is purchased, and not at the time of its maturity.

Clause 16
This clause will substitute a new Schedule for the present Twenty-Sixth Schedule (''Informal Traders' Tax'') to the Income Tax Act. The new Schedule sets out the procedure for the collection of presumptive tax. The will be collected from informal traders, small scale miners, and operators of taxicabs and omnibuses as defined in paragraph 1 of the Schedule. Informal traders will (as is presently the case with ''informal traders' tax'', which the presumptive tax will replace) be charged a presumptive tax when they pay rent to local authorities for accommodation or when they pay rent to other persons for their business premises. The rate of the tax is 10% of each dollar of the rent thus paid (or other rate as charged from time to time by the Finance Act). The local authorities or other persons to whom they pay the tax (they are called ''lessors'' in the Schedule) will have to remit amounts of tax paid to the Commissioner-General within thirty days after they receive the payments. Failure on the part of a lessor to remit the payments will render him personally liable for the tax. Failure on the part of an informal trader to pay the tax will entitle the lessor to cancel his lease.

Small scale miners will have a presumptive tax of 5% of the value of precious stones or precious metals (or other rate as charged from time to time by the Finance Act) deducted by the persons (''agents'') to whom they sell these stones or minerals. The agents will then have to remit the amounts of tax thus collected to the Commissioner-General on or before the twentieth day of the month following that in which the purchase was made. Failure on the part of an agent to remit the tax will render him or her personally liable for the tax.

Operators of taxicabs and omnibuses will pay a presumptive tax of a fixed amount per quarter year based on the passenger capacity of the vehicle they operate.

Paragraph 14 of the Schedule provides the presumptive taxpayers are not exempted from submitting tax returns under section 37 of the Act unless, in the case of small-scale miners and operators of taxicabs and omnibuses, their income derived exclusively from such activities and is below a certain prescribed level. However, all presumptive tax payers are entitled to receive a tax clearance certificate in respect of the presumptive tax which they have paid, whether or not they have submitted returns under section 37 of the Act.

Clause 17
The Schedule to Chapter II of the Finance Act prescribes the rates of stamp duty payable on various instruments. This clause will increase the stamp duty payable on cheques from $500 to $2 000.

Clause 18
This clause will increase the rate of capital gains withholding tax marketable securities from 5% to 10%.

Clause 19
This clause will amend the Schedule to Chapter IV of the Finance Act, which sets out the general rate of value added tax. The effect of the amendment is to increase the general rate of value added tax from 15% to 17.5%. The new rate will come into operation on the 1st September this year.

This clause will also impose a special rate of value added tax of 22.5% on the supply of cellular telecommunications services in the course or furtherance of the supply of such services by a registered operator.

Clause 20
This clause will amend the interpretation section of the Value Added Tax Act by including a definition of ''motor vehicle'' for the purpose of the provisions of the Act concerned with the taxation of sales of second hand motor vehicles.

Clause 21
This clause will amend section 11 (''Exempt supplies'') of the Value Added Tax Act by extending the tax exemption in favour of donations of motor vehicles between spouses to donations by either spouse to their children.

Clause 22
The Finance Act, 2004, inserted a new section in the Value Added Tax Act providing for the deferment of the collection of VAT on the importation of certain goods of a capital nature. The effect of this clause will be to extend the scope of that provision to plant, equipment and machinery used for the purposes of the agricultural and aviation industries.

Clause 23
This clause will amend section 15 (''Calculation of tax payable'')of the Value Added Tax Act to enable tax invoices to be presented for input tax purposes in any tax period subsequent to the period in which they were issued or period of 12 months from the date of issue of the tax invoice, whichever is the shorter period.

Clause 24
This clause will insert a new section in the Value Added Tax providing for refunds of tax paid by persons who are exempted from the payment thereof.

Clause 25
This clause will enable the Commissioner General to appoint a person, for example a bank or local representative of an importer of services into Zimbabwe, to be an agent for the purpose of collecting valued added tax in respect of such those services.

Clause 27
This clause will amend section 202 (''Interest on unpaid duty and payment of fines and duties by instalments'') of the Customs and Excise Act by extending its provisions to the payment of unpaid duty on smuggled goods that are found to be liable for such duty.

Clause 28
This clause will insert a new section in the Revenue Authority Act to provide for the issuance by the Commissioner-General of ''tax clearance certificates'' to persons who require proof that they have paid any relevant tax charged under any revenue Act administered by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (namely the Income Tax Act, the Capital Gains Tax Act, the Customs and Excise Tax, the Value Added Tax Act and the Stamp Duties Act).


BILL

To make further provision for the revenues and public funds of Zimbabwe and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

ENACTED by the President and Parliament of Zimbabwe.

FINANCE BILL, 2005
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I
PRELIMINARY
Section
1. Short title.

PART II
INCOME TAX
Amendments to Chapter I of Finance Act [Chapter 23:04]
2. Amendment of section 14 of Cap. 23:04.
3. New section substituted for section 22A of Cap. 23:04.
4. New section substituted for section 22C of Cap. 23:04.
5. Amendment of Schedule to Chapter I of Cap. 23:04.
Amendments to Income Tax Act [Chapter 23:06]
6. Amendment of section 2 of Cap. 23:06.
7. New section substituted for section 36C of Cap. 23:06.
8. Amendment of section 61 of Cap. 23:06.
9. Amendment of section 80 of Cap. 23:06.
10. New section substituted for section 80A of Cap. 23:06.
11. Amendment of section 90 of Cap. 23:06.
12. New section substituted for section 97 of Cap. 23:06.
13. Amendment to Third Schedule to Cap. 23:06.
14. Amendment to Thirteenth Schedule to Cap. 23:06.
15. Amendment of Twenty-First Schedule to Cap. 23:06.
16. New Schedule substituted for Twenty-Sixth Schedule to Cap. 23:06.

PART III
STAMP DUTIES

17. Amendment of Schedule to Chapter II of Cap. 23:09

PART IV
CAPITAL GAINS TAX

18. Amendment of section 39 of Cap. 23:04.

PART V
VALUE ADDED TAX

Amendments to Chapter IV of Finance Act [Chapter 23:04]
19. Amendment of Schedule to Chapter IV of Cap. 23:04.
Amendments to Value Added Tax [Chapter 23:12]
20. Amendment of section 2 of Cap. 23:12.
21. Amendment of section 11 of Cap. 23:12.
22. Amendment of section 12A of Cap. 23:12.
23. Amendment of section 15 of Cap. 23;12.
24. New section inserted in Cap. 23:12.
25. New section substituted for section 48 of Cap. 23:12.
26. Amendment of section 83 of Cap. 23:12

PART VI
CUSTOMS AND EXCISE

27. Amendment of section 202 of Cap. 23:02.

PART VII
AMENDMENT TO REVENUE AUTHORITY ACT [CHAPTER 23:11]

28. New section inserted in Cap. 23:11.

Download full legislation

Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.

TOP