CHINESE businesses in Zimbabwe have come under the spotlight following claims they are flouting the country’s tax laws by failing to issue out tax invoices when conducting business.
This was revealed by captains of industry who attended the Association for Business in Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) workshop in Bulawayo on Friday.
“Chinese businesses are not giving out tax invoices when you conduct business with them and this is cause for concern because it’s a requirement. If you insist on it, they will just write on a piece of paper,” one participant said.
Another participant told NewsDay on the sidelines of the workshop that when the Chinese were issuing out tax invoices, they would not be in English “an indication that their system is not linked to Zimra”.
“It raises questions on how their companies are reconciling their books with Zimra, yet the law requires companies to communicate in languages that are understood locally,” the participant said.
Under the law, receipts and invoices must be issued in a local language.
Responding to these claims, a Zimra official, who cannot be named for professional reasons, said they were going to look into the issue.
“Thank you for raising those issues. You are the people on the ground and we appreciate that. We, therefore, implore you to bring such issues to our offices for consideration,” the official said.
This is not the first time Chinese businesses have come under the spotlight. Cases of flouting tax regulations, poor working conditions, arbitrary dismissals, beatings at the workplace and low wages are synonymous with their businesses.
Some of them do not have fiscal machines on their premises as per requirement.
For instance, a business is required to register for VAT if their sales exceed $60 000 a month and is required to keep books of accounts and to instal a fiscal machine on its premises.
The machines are provided by suppliers accredited by the revenue authority, but the Chinese supply themselves.
Zimbabweans across the board have raised the conduct of Chinese companies and their treatment of employees to no avail.-amh