Harare - South African-owned mines in Zimbabwe will now have to deal with increased scrutiny from that country's taxman after the minister of finance gazetted amendments to the Revenue Authority Act, giving more powers to Zimra (the equivalent of the South African Revenue Service) to enhance revenue collection in Zimbabwe.
The new law will affect all mines operating in Zimbabwe including those owned by Anglo Platinum [JSE:AMS]
, Aquarius Platinum [JSE:AQP]
and Impala Platinum Holdings [JSE:IMP]
Under the new amendments Zimra is now authorised to enter any mining location for inspection, and to exame prospecting or mining operations or the treatment of minerals being performed.
Zimra officers are also now allowed to take samples or specimens of rocks, ores, concentrates, tailing or minerals situated in that area.
Apart from examining the books and ensuring that any royalties or taxes are payable under the Finance Act, Zimra has been given powers to examine security systems at mining locations.
The ministry also inserted a new section in the act (chapter 23:11) which, among other things, says that Zimra can obtain full information in respect of any person's liability to tax under the Finance Act, or any matter relating to the collection of such tax.
Zimra can for that purpose obtain any deeds, plans, instruments, books, records, accounts, trade lists, stock lists or documents which the authority may consider necessary.
The documents which are to be obtained by Zimra may be retained for as long as they may be reasonably required for any assessment, criminal or other proceedings under the Finance Act.
Zimra officers will now be permitted to enter without notice any premises to search for any moneys, valuables deeds, etc and retain the items for assessment.
Any person who makes a false statement to Zimra will be liable to a fine and imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.
*Malcom Sharara is Fin24's correspondent in Zimbabwe.
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