Zimra, stockbrokers lock horns over VAT

HARARE - The stalemate between the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) and Stockbrokers over VAT resulted in no trades being recorded on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and income being lost by all interested parties.
ZIMRA is demanding Value Added Tax (VAT) payments on brokerage income backdate

d to 2004 when VAT was introduced. However Stockbrokers argue that they are not liable to VAT according to the VAT (Exemption) Act similar to the exemption enjoyed under the Sale Tax Act.
It is interesting to note that the taxmen have not bothered to collect the tax since 2004 despite collecting Stamp Duty (2%) and Capital gain Tax/ Withholding Tax (5%) on a daily basis and this is tantamount to dereliction of duty and brokers are expected to pay a fine for the ineptitude of ZIMRA over the last two and a half years if ZIMRA is justified.
Already Tax advisors and legal counsel have advised that Stockbrokers are not subject to VAT leading to the issue being referred to the Fiscal Appeals Court. Trading was suspended on Tuesday after it was realised that every broker would become technically insolvent as a result of the claims.
The local currency remained unchanged at Z$101 195.54 to the Greenback. However the market rate took a 30% dive over the past week resulting in the increase in the price of fuel and other imported goods. Mean while the South African Rand sustained modest recovery on Thursday, shrugging off a weaker gold price amid speculation hat corporate acquisitions will generate forex inflows later this year. Major Currencies: GBP/USD 1.8706, EUR/USD 1.2794, USD/JPY 111.97, USD/ ZAR 6.5360.  Commodities: Gold $654/oz, Nickel $22,700/ton, Brent Crude $68.06/barrel. 

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