The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has said it will continue to roll out training and awareness programmes on the Tax and Revenue Management System (TaRMS) until all clients are on board.
Launched in October last year, TaRMS aims to benefit taxpayers and enhance compliance and trade facilitation by the tax authority. TaRMS was introduced in response to several key challenges taxpayers were facing, including difficulties in filing returns, lack of data integrity and cumbersome processes for tax payments and refunds.
Also meant to foster voluntary compliance and make tax management more straightforward for the public, the system encompasses functions such as taxpayer registration, tax returns processing, tax payments and debt management.
Taxpayers had to use the e-tax and e-service platforms to submit all their returns up to November 24, 2023, after which the two platforms were shut down to allow migration to TaRMS, where all facilities were offered on from December 1, 2023.
However, a snap survey conducted by this publication revealed that some businesses were having challenges migrating to the new system, while others said they still had less knowledge of how the system functions. To address this, Zimra has assured that it will continue rolling out training and awareness programmes.
“Zimra conducted a series of awareness and training programmes for taxpayers about TaRMS before, during and after the transition, through various business associations. The revenue authority also rolled out a multichannel awareness campaign about TaRMS which included programmes on all radio and TV stations as well as notices that continue to be published in various newspapers and social media platforms,” said Zimra Corporate Affairs Executive, Mr Gladman Njanji.
“TaRMS is a new system and the training and awareness programmes will continue until all clients are on board. Should there be clients, taxpayers or stakeholders who may require more training on TaRMS and related services, they are free to contact Zimra offices across the country.”
He said they also developed video clips to assist taxpayers on how to navigate the TaRMS platform and these are available on the Zimra website and YouTube page.
Mr Njanji said Zimra has five kiosks in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare where taxpayers can walk in and get assistance on TaRMS registration and any other tax and customs-related queries for free.
“We also have a contact centre with dedicated experts who are ready to assist taxpayers through toll-free calls, emails or social media platforms on TaRMS and other customs and tax-related issues. The issue of failure to update receipts only occurred in the early stages of implementation and these have since been resolved. Currently, there are no challenges with updating payments.”
With the new system, transaction data from the old systems were migrated by the end of November 2023 and the old systems were shut down for all transactions, according to Zimra. The submission of tax returns and refund claims is now only being done through TaRMS via the self-service portal.
TaRMS is a product of Zimra’s business process re-engineering (BPR) programme launched in 2022. The BPR identified digitalisation as the key aspect of improved service delivery to Zimra’s diverse clients. The TaRMS commenced in 2022 following an intensive user needs analysis and assessment, while it has come about to close the gaps that have historically affected efficient revenue collection. This is also in line with the authority’s shift towards automation and digitalisation.