By Clive Chikeya
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has been accused of unprofessional conduct after its system went down since the new year, only for the revenue collector to announce on Tuesday that it had puiled down the portal.
What infuriated customers was that Zimra said it cut off its e-services portal on 17 January “until the end of the week to allow for a system maintenance upgrade”.
In a statement, ZIMRA encouraged its customers to use other means such as visiting the revenue authority’s offices in person or enquiring via email.
“The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), wishes to advise its valued clients that the ZIMRA Online Portal (eService System) is undergoing maintenance during the period 17 to 21 January 2022 and during this period, there will be intermittent unavailability of the system.
“In a bid to minimise visits to the ZIMRA offices and to reduce risks of spread of the COVID-19 virus, clients are advised to make use of alternative options on communication with the Authority as follows:
1) In cases where submission of tax returns have failed through the ZIMRA e-Services Platform, clients may please use relevant email address (selected from Appendix 1 below). Clients are reminded to make correct declarations, remit all payments on time, in full and in the currency of transaction through the ZIMRA respective banking platforms. For ZIMRA bank details, please visit the ZIMRA website www.zimra.co.zw.
2) For Any queries or correspondences involving Tax Clearances (ITF263) issuances, kindly make use of specific ITF263 queries desk email addresses provided in Appendix 1 below for the specified regions.
Please do not hesitate to contact your respective managers whose names are provided in Appendix 1 below for any further inquiries.
In the event that physical access to any ZIMRA Offices is absolutely necessary, further guidance will be provided.
Please bear with us as ZIMRA improves the client experience on the e-Services platform. Any inconveniences caused are sincerely regretted.
Speaking to HourlyHits over the issue, business operators aaid ZIMRA was taking clients for granted.
“To start with, it’s a lie that the system has been working all along, because it never worked since 1 January. We suspect it’s an IT issue, probably to do with configuration,” said Energy Phiri, a IT expert who uses the system regularly for filing VAT and Income Tax returns.
Businesseoman Sharon Vengai said the loss to business by both ZIMRA and its clients was unbearable especially as business are trying to make up for time lost during hard lockdowns.
“We urge the Finance Minister to take responsibility and ensure ZIMRA does the right thing and be competent for once.
“The ZIMRA system has had more challenges and failures than it works. Businesses which are trying to cover ground lost to Covid-19 and the lockdowns now have to pay the price for ZIMRA’s incompetence and that is not a great way to start a new year,” said the supermarket owner.
She said ZIMRA was taking even weeks to install fiscal gadgets, hugely inconveniencing businesses seeking to make up for lost time.