Zim moots new taxes on telecoms

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. PA Chinamasa, has proposed new taxes on airtime, data and handset costs among moves to raise additional revenue.

In his 2014 Mid-term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, the Minister noted revenue shortfalls and proposed a number of measures to counter them.

Among them were proposed taxes on telecoms. The Minister said: “As already alluded to, Government faces a challenge to raise additional revenue to finance non-discretionary expenditures. I therefore, propose to levy excise duty of 5% on air time for voice and data, with effect from 15 September 2014.”

He added: “Government reduced rates of customs duty on mobile handsets, with effect from 1 August 2009, in recognition of access to information as an essential tool to enhance decision making in the global village, and also to encourage the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT), in line with international trends. Handset purchases have increased significantly and mobile telephone penetration rates have also increased substantially to over 100%. Customs duty reduction has, thus, achieved its intended purpose. I therefore, propose to levy customs duty on mobile handsets at a rate of 25%, with effect from 1 October 2014.”

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