In an effort to encourage our valued clients to regularise their tax obligations, the Government has, through the Finance Act No. 1 of 2018 published on 15 March 2018, made provisions for granting of a tax amnesty to persons on application. Persons include companies, corporate or unincorporated body of persons and trusts. The tax amnesty is relief granted on penalty, interest and prosecution.
Offences in respect of vehicles covered by the Amnesty
Any vehicle imported unlawfully and without paying the duty due but has not been impounded by ZIMRA qualifies for the amnesty. This covers vehicles that could have been smuggled and clandestinely registered in Zimbabwe without following due process. Such vehicles should not be in the custody of ZIMRA as a result of seizure. There are also vehicles which have been imported on Temporary Import Permit for Visitors’ Vehicles (TIP) but remained in Zimbabwe beyond the authorised periods with no intention to re-export them.
The owner or beneficiary of such vehicles can approach ZIMRA with the view to formalise the importation. Once they have approached ZIMRA they will be required to pay duty as at the time of importing the vehicle had it not been smuggled. However, it must be noted that the amnesty does not cover the waiver of penalties in respect of vehicles that are seeking TIP extension.
Documentation/information required to formalise the inconsistencies
Importers who wish to formalise the importation of vehicles that would have been in the country outside the provisions of the law are required to produce the authentic foreign documents and the Zimbabwean registration book, where the vehicle has been registered locally. Other documents include any agreement of sale or a sworn affidavit of the sale transaction, invoice, export documentation, TIP, foreign Police Clearance Certificates for vehicles previously registered in the SADC region, etc. The documentation will depend on the specific transaction that led to the importation.
Is the subject vehicle required in the processing of the amnesty?
ZIMRA will require that the claimant of the amnesty produce the vehicle for verification of its details which include the chassis and engine numbers, make and model and type of body.
The physical examination of the vehicle will aid ZIMRA in validating the declared values in a manner consistent with the validation of values for all other vehicles imported properly. It should be noted that the vehicle will not be detained for lack of funds to pay the duty at the time of volunteering the information pursuant application for amnesty. In fact, claimants can make a payment plan which shall be restricted to the period of the amnesty ending on 30 June 2018.
What are the benefits of utilising the amnesty?
The amnesty seeks amongst other things to rid the motor vehicle register of improperly cleared vehicles whilst regularising the register by including vehicles that are operating without formality. It also seeks to give owners of unlawfully imported vehicles a chance to clear the ever present burden of illegally owning and operating such vehicles without prejudicing the state of the revenue due. It is therefore a big opportunity for those who were either willing or unwitting accomplices to voluntarily pay the duty and leave a life clear of fear that the vehicle can be impounded at any time whilst enjoying the benefits of legitimate ownership of their assets.
Disclaimer This article was compiled by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for information purposes only. ZIMRA shall not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from use of material in this article and no liability will attach to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. To contact ZIMRA: WhatsApp line : +263 782 729 862 Visit our website : www. zimra.co.zw Follow us on Twitter : @Zimra_11 Like us on Facebook : www.facebook.com/ZIMRA.11 Send us an e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com Call us (Head Office) : 04 –758891/5; 790813; 790814; 781345; 751624; 752731 e-TIP : http://ecustoms.zimra.co.zw/etip/