Kombi operators to carry presumptive tax certificates or face 100% fine
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Defaulters have an option of paying a fine of 100 percent of the amount owed to avoid being jailed for up to six months.
Speaking at a recent all-stakeholders’ traffic workshop in Harare, Zimra revenue officer Mr Clarkson Muungani said most public transport operators were defaulting in paying presumptive tax.
The workshop, organised by the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, was aimed at finding ways of reducing road carnage ahead of the festive season.
It was attended by hundreds of public transport operators.
Mr Muungani said from now on, drivers should carry a tax clearance certificate for verification.
"Failure to carry or produce the certificate renders the person in charge of the vehicle to a fine of 100 percent of amount due or in default of payment, imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months," he said.
"Failure to pay the presumptive taxes in time also renders the operators liable to interest charges."
Mr Muungani said any entity not registered for income, but engaged in informal trading should pay presumptive tax.
"We expect the transport operators to register with us within 30 days of setting up a business and pay presumptive tax because they are in business and should contribute something to the fiscus.
"The challenge we have is that a lot of operators are not paying anything to the authority, resulting in us losing a lot of money.
"Presumptive tax is charged in accordance with Section 36c of the Income Tax Act (Chapter 23:06) as read with the 26th schedule.
"The rates of presumptive tax are stipulated in the Finance Act (Chapter 23:04) Section 22c."
Commuter omnibuses with a carrying capacity of between eight and 14 passengers are required to pay US$150 per quarter on every vehicle.
Each quarter has three months, which means the operators should pay US$600 every year for small omnibuses.
Omnibuses carrying 15 to 24 passengers should pay US$175 per vehicle after every three months, while those with a carrying capacity of 25 to 36 passengers have to part with US$300 per quarter.
Operators owning buses with a carrying capacity of 37 passengers and above pay US$450 per vehicle.
All taxi-cabs should pay US$100, while driving schools with Class 4 vehicles should pay US$500 per vehicle.
Driving schools with Class one and two vehicles have to part with US$600 per vehicle.
Transport operators with goods vehicles with a carrying capacity of more than 10 tonnes, but less than 20 tonnes should pay US$1 000, while those with more than 20 tonnes have to part with US$2 500.
Goods vehicles of 10 tonnes or less, but with a combination of truck and trailers of more than 15 tonnes, but less than 20 tonnes should pay US$2 500 per quarter.
Mr Muungani said the presumptive tax should be paid by the 10th of the following month after the expiry of the quarter.
"As transport operators, you can register for Income Tax provided you are able to keep proper records pertaining to revenue generation, expenses incurred (business related) and payroll schedules," he said.
Officer Commanding national traffic (administration) Assistant Commissioner Kenneth Mthombeni said as law enforcement agents, they would assist Zimra in making transport operators comply with the regulations.
"We have carried out a lot of operations with them (Zimra) and whenever they request our services we will accompany them so that they check their things on the roads," he said.
"We have been doing that with them because we want our operators to operate with all the requirements."
Greater Harare Council of Commuter Operators chairman Mr Cosmas Mbonjani said many operators did not afford the presumptive tax.
"This is expensive because we can’t have someone with three trucks forking US$7 500 after every three months," he said.
"We are operating at a loss and some know that they should be paying to Zimra, but the problem is that they have many expenses to cover.
"Zimra officials think that we make a lot of money, but that is not the situation on the ground."
Mr Mbonjani said Zimra should review the presumptive charges downwards, considering they would have paid duty importing the vehicles.
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