If you have a company and you pay your taxes, then you know for a fact that having a tax clearance certificate is vital. There are some serious benefits to having a tax clearance even if you aren’t a company; let’s say you’re a sole trader, church, a trust or an individual, these benefits apply. According to ZIMRA, the following benefits are availed to Tax Clearance Certificate holders:
- No 10% Withholding Tax is deducted when payments are made for goods and services supplied.
- No Presumptive Tax will be levied on importations.
- Tax clearance is required when bidding for tenders.
- A Tax Clearance Certificate is a pre-requisite when applying for licences issued by local authorities.
- Business counterparts have confidence in doing business with compliant taxpayers
Best of all you can get the clearance online, so you don’t have to bear the grunt of back and forths like with other systems in this country of ours. Before you get the certificate you’ll need a few things to be in order on your end.
What do you need to have to access the Tax Clearance Certificate?
ZIMRA gives a pretty clear outline of what you will need to get your hands on the tax clearance:
- The client must furnish all statutory returns required to be submitted under all Acts administered by ZIMRA, or making satisfactory arrangements with ZIMRA for the furnishing of such returns.
- The client must have paid the taxes due in terms of all the Acts administered by ZIMRA.
- Clients with outstanding taxes, penalties and interest must make suitable arrangements, which are approved by ZIMRA.
- Value Added Tax (VAT) registered clients must have their systems interfaced with ZIMRA servers under the fiscalisation programme. However, tax clearance certificates may be availed to clients who have made noticeable efforts to get interfaced
How to get the certificate online…
The Tax Clearance Certificate is now accessible on the ZIMRA e-services portal using the following steps:
- Log on to the e-services portal http://efiling.zimra.co.zw
- Click on “Manage Services” and select “Submissions”
- Click the arrow on “General Tax Clearance”
- Click “Submit”
- Allow a few seconds for the system to update the status
- Click “My History” then “My Submissions” to check for your Tax Clearance Certificate
- If status says “Committed”, it means you have successfully obtained an online tax clearance certificate (ITF 263)
- Click “View Document” to view and print the Tax Clearance Certificate (ITF 263)
- If the status is “Failed” then contact the nearest ZIMRA office for assistance
The process isn’t strenuous or long so it should be a no-brainer as to why you should do it online.
Verifying the validity of your Tax Clearance Certificate
If for whatever reason you’re not sure about the authenticity of your tax clearance, you can validate the damn thing on ZIMRA’s e-services portal as well:
- Type http://efiling.zimra.co.zw on your Internet browser
- Under e-services, click on “Validate Tax Certificate”
- Enter the Business Partner Number (BPN) on the tax certificate in the BPN field
- Enter the “Authentication Code” as it appears on the tax certificate in the code field
- Type the “Code” for the image as shown in the field available
- Click “Verify Certificate”
- For a valid Tax Clearance Certificate, the details that will appear on the Internet page are the same as those on the Certificate being verified
[update on 1/8/2019 @ 12:30PM]: You may have trouble accessing the site during peak or working hours as the traffic can get overwhelming for the sites’ servers. If you fail to access the site during these hours you can try again around midnight. Not the best experience but it is the only workaround for at the time of writing.