Below is a review/summary of the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy 2015 announced by Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa. For the full PDF document, Please click Here and follow instructions.

Contents

Zimbabwe 2015 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review

Income Tax

No revisions were made

Corporate Tax

Tax on Ecclesiastical, Charitable and Educational Organisations Income from trade or investment derived from profit-oriented business activities undertaken by such organisations will be subject to income tax. This is currently exempt from income tax. Donations, tithes, offerings or other contributions by members are specifically exempt. The Minister has stated that charitable, educational and ecclesiastical institutions that conduct business through a non - profit company registered in terms of section 26 of the Companies Act will remain exempt from tax to the extent that such profits or income are solely used in promoting the objectives of these institutions. Effective Date - 1 January 2015 (Speech says 1 January 2016)[1]

Tobacco Levy

Tobacco Levy on Contract Tobacco The Income Tax Act currently imposes Tobacco Levy on “Auction Tobacco”. The proposed Bill seeks to extend the levy to “Contract Tobacco” with retrospective effect. Effective Date - 1 February 2009[1]

Withholding Taxes

No revisions were made.

Presumptive Taxes

No revisions were made

Capital Gains Tax

There were no proposals regarding Capital Gains Tax.

Value Added Tax

Export VAT on un-beneficiated chrome The export tax (VAT) on un-beneficiated chrome is repealed. The ban on export of chrome ore and fines has also been recently lifted. The Royalty rate however has been increased from 2% to 5% Effective Date- I January 2015

Export VAT on un-beneficiated diamonds

The export tax (VAT) on un-beneficiated diamonds is also repealed. The Royalty rate of 15% will however still remain in place. Effective Date- I January 2015

Export VAT on un-beneficiated hides

The export tax (VAT) on un-beneficiated hides which presently stands at 75c per kilogram is changed to the greater of 75c per kilogram or 15% of the export consignment of the hides in question. It is also proposed to remove the Tax free export quota of 25% on raw hides and skins.

Effective Date- I October 2015[1]

VAT on clearing agents fees

The proposal put forward in the annual proposals made in November 2014 had not been legislated but is now included in the proposed bill. Every clearing agent shall be deemed for VAT purpose to charge a clearance fee of at least USD50 on each bill of entry. Effective Date – 1 January 2015

VAT on Short Term Insurance

It was proposed in the Ministers speech but not in the Draft Bill to introduce VAT on short term insurance transactions. Effective Date – 1 September 2015

Customs and Excise

General

The Ministers speech contains several large tables showing proposed changes to certain tariff codes. These are too voluminous for inclusion in this document and accordingly we have, where indicated, referenced these to the respective part of the Ministers speech. Measures to support Industry

Pharmaceutical Industry

Certain pharmaceutical products that are locally manufactured including penicillin, other antibiotics, medicaments used in the management of chronic illnesses and others containing alkaloids or derivatives will have duty of 30% imposed (currently 0% to 10%). (Refer to table at par 996 of the Ministers Speech per page 219).

Fertiliser Industry

It is proposed to introduce customs duty of 25% on imported compound or blended fertilizer. Duty-free importation of fertiliser will however be ring-fenced in cases where local production is insufficient to meet demand. The Minister mentions that this was on the back of local manufacturers undertaking to reduce prices by about 20%.[1]

Oil Expressers

Customs duty of 40% coupled with a 25% surtax currently applies to cooking oil importations. This however has not curtailed imports and it is proposed to retain the Customs duty of 40%. The Surtax however will be the greater of 25% or US$0.50 per litre.

Beverage Industry

It is proposed to introduce a specific customs duty of US$0.5 per liter on imported carbonated soft drinks.

Printing and Publishing Industry

It is proposed to extend the Manufacturers rebate on raw materials imported by approved manufacturers in the printing and publishing industry. It is further proposed to levy a combination of Ad Valorem and Specific Duty on finished products such as cartons, boxes, sacks, bags, exercise books and printed cards. (Refer to Table 12 on page 263 of the Ministers Speech.)

Furniture Industry

It is proposed to introduce a Furniture Manufactures Rebate which provides for duty free importation of selected materials used by approved furniture manufacturers. Customs duty on wooden, plastic and metal furniture products will be increased or a surtax added. (Refer to Table 13 on page 264 of the Ministers Speech.) It is also proposed to remove Beds and Mattresses from the Travellers Rebate.

Textile Industry

It is proposed to introduce a Textile Manufactures Rebate which provides for duty free importation of critical inputs imported by approved textile manufacturers. This will cover spare parts, yard and unbleached fabric amongst others. (Refer to extensive Table 14 on pages 265 to 269 of the Ministers Speech.)

Sugar Industry

It is proposed to review Customs Duty on imported sugar from 0% to 10% plus US$100 per ton. Import licenses will only be issued in consultation with industry representatives taking into account prevailing market conditions. Other measures Removal of certain groceries from the Travellers Rebate The following items will be removed from the Travellers Rebate: Flour, Maize Meal, Sugar, Meat, Fish, Powdered Milk, Yoghurts, Cheese, Eggs, Corn Puffs, Jam, Honey and beverages. As mentioned above Beds and Mattresses will also be removed in support of the furniture industry. Second Hand Clothing and Shoes Second hand clothing and shoes are to be removed from the Open General Import Licence. Any future importation of second hand clothing and shoes will be liable to forfeiture and destruction.

Effective Date – 1 September 2015

Second Motor Vehicles

It is proposed to increase the Surtax applicable to passenger motor vehicles manufactured 5 years or more from date of importation from the current 25% to 35%.[1]

Effective Date – 1 September 2015

Mines and Minerals

Royalties

Base metals other than chrome will continue to carry a Royalty of 2%. Chrome is revised upwards from 2% to 5%. The Draft Bill does not appear to distinguish between beneficiated chrome (ferrochrome) and un-beneficiated chrome ores but the Ministers speech states “the Royalty Rate on chrome ore and fines was reviewed upwards…”

Effective Date – Bill 1 January 2014 (Speech 1 January 2015)

Gold

The Royalty rate on gold produced by small-scale miners (those producing less than 0.5Kg per month) has been revised downwards from 3% to 1%. Effective Date – Bill 1 January 2014 (Speech 1 September 2015)

Other fees or levies

Stamp Duty

Any registration of a bond at the instance of the African Development Bank or the African Export-Import Bank to secure a loan or other credit facility advance by it to any person in Zimbabwe will be exempt from Stamp Duty.

Effective Date – 1 February 2009

Land rentals have been extended to both Model A1 and A2 farmers. The Development Levy previously collected by Rural District Councils will be collected by the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement. The collections are payable to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Natural Regions 1, 2, 2a, 2b, 3, 4 and 5 will be subject to the following Model A1 – Rental of $10 per annum and Development levy of $5 per annum. Model A2 – Rental of $3 per hectare per annum and Development levy of $2 per hectare per annum.[1]

Tax administration and other general matters

Tax Amnesty Extension

The Tax Amnesty has been extended to 30 September 2015. The final settlement date however remains at 31 December 2015.

Effective Date – 1 January 2015

State Liabilities Act

The provisions barring legal proceedings against certain organizations under the State Liabilities Act have been extended to cover Air Zimbabwe.

Effective Date – Not Specified

VAT Fiscalised Recording of Taxable Transactions

ZIMRA will set up a platform for receiving data from already installed fiscalised devices by 31 October 2015. It is also planned for the fiscalisation program to be rolled out to Category A, B and D operators. Fiscal devises that were first introduced in 2011 are now lagging behind technological advances and it is expected that these will need to be upgraded.

General Matters

The Government will also be looking to do the following: Introduce a “Name and Shame” policy for persons convicted of tax offences.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Deloitte, Published: No date given, Retrieved: July 31, 2015