ZIMRA denies allegations that it lost tax records dating back 6 years

Leonard Sengere Avatar
ZIMRA Offices, tax, Tax Clearance, Income Tax

There were reports that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), the body responsible for collecting taxes and other revenue streams for the government in Zimbabwe, had lost tax records dating back 6 years.

The story went, Zimra’s digital repository and server crashed leading to the loss of data. NewsHub who broke the story had sources inside Zimra who thought the crash was a result of the server being hacked or the designer doing a shoddy job.

It appeared this was true because Zimra was indeed requesting information from clients.

Zimra has come out and rubbished all of it. They say there has been no crash or hacking of any of its servers.

Zimra says they are requesting information from clients so that they can update taxpayer records. They remind us that clients sometimes change addresses, emails, public officers etc and that they want to stay abreast of the changes.

Zimra goes further to say they are “working on migrating client data onto their new Tax and Revenue Management System (TaRMS), which will be more efficient and will simplify business processes through the use of automation.”

That’s the official position. You can take that to the bank.

That’s all there is to it, right? Well…

At this point, we have no evidence to contradict what Zimra is saying. However, the tin foil-wearing man in me says there might be fire to this smoke. If it were true would we have been told? If that’s not a resounding yes is it not reasonable to be suspicious?

Are we saying the sources that NewsHub had just wanted to mess with them, fabricating the whole story just to watch the world burn? I don’t know.

This story sounds like the whole Nostro accounts story. The official position there is that the statements that were leaked were fake news but I just can’t shake the feeling that there is more to it than that.

Ignore my ramblings though. Zimra says there was no crash or hacking, that’s that. However, do let us know what you think about all this in the comments section below.

Also read:

RBZ says ‘don’t worry, banks have enough USD to back your Nostro balances’

ZIMRA exceeded its own expectations in Q4 2021 with a 48% uptick in collections

ZIMRA’s portal is “undergoing maintenance”, the yearly tradition continues

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16 comments

  1. Chimborazoo

    Are they requesting clients info from way back or just current info only?

    1. Anonimasi

      At my company our bank approached us on ZIMRA’s behalf asking for tax related information dating back 2019

  2. Hokage

    Wow guys the site looks amazing 👏

  3. 007

    I would say theres something going on there why asking for info dating back 2019

    1. Richard Turpin

      007, correct! Just wondering how many heads will roll over this! Sounds like there are no backups 2010 going forwards. Not very smart, but then that’s 6 years, and statutory requirements say financial records must be kept for at least 7 years… Lots of tax-payers, corporate and individual have either closed down, left the country, or died! Good Luck sorting that mess out, zimra! You’ll need lots of it!

  4. Unknown

    Can a critical institution like ZIMRA store data on one sever only. Donkey years ago CABS constructed their data installations with a backup several kilometres from the primary data centre. If one crashes or has some incident there should a backup that won’t be affected that is if its not a ransomware incident.

    1. Not so fast

      Even then not all backups need to be online. You can have tape drives backups in some storage vault

    2. Michael Souris

      Correct. Unknown! However, zimra have been way too busy with funding-raising for zpf, buying all sorts of perks for the brass there, and also don’t realise how many firms have long since gone out of business! Most closed down well over seven years ago, which I believe is the statutory length of of time, individuals and companies, are legally required to keep financial records, whilst quite a number of others are going to be doing shortly. Still, with zpf STILL in charge, they’ll no doubt come up with scams and scares, to extort more money out of the survivors!

  5. Agric-Agencies (pvt) Ltd

    Zimra do keep asking us for returns dating back 5/6 years that we have proof of being sent.
    To begin with we did this until again Zimra would ask yet again.
    Eventuly we stopped as time wasting realising their inefficiency and ineffectiveness!!
    Zimra portal system is a disaster and we submit by email a simple system that works unlike the portal!
    Zimra defies their claim ” We are here to serve” !!!!

  6. Richard Turpin

    ZIMRA have had a crash, have no recent backups of their records, and are now sniffing about, trying to get taxpayers to be honest! LOL, the very lot they work for, are dishonest, thieving, and have never put those tax revenues to any worthwhile use! Bet they’re also short of funds as well, so staff there might not be paid on time either! As little to none of that revenue goes into anything worthwhile, they’re looking for ways to raise more funds, for zpf, who’ve ruined Zimbabwe, and to fund their own salaries and wages!

  7. IT Security

    I won’t be surprised. I am a very competent IT professional , applied for jobs several times and never got any reply. It only point to corruption and hiring of incompetent professionals.

    1. Popocatapetl

      Don’t hate the player hate the game… This is Zimbabwe man. If you’re just a regular folk and you don’t use somebody’s name you won’t get anything.. That’s how the game do.

  8. Richard Turpin

    Prior to ZIMRA’s formation, I received a snotty note about them not having received my tax return, you will be made to pay double, subject to prosecution, blah blah! Took a photostat of both sides of the receipt, showing they’d received it, and heard nothing more from them! They and/or zpf, are short of funds again, from the look of this report! Thankfully, I’ll be shot of Zimbabwe soon! Sunny Ireland beckons!

  9. Donald Le Canard

    I don’t think ZIMRA realise just how many firms have gone out of business, are in the process of doing so, and also how many former tax-payers no longer pay tax, as they’re now either dead, have left the country, or in the case of companies, have gone under, and not recently either. It’s just them and zpf, sniffing out more cash, as they undoubtedly need it, to finance zpf’s lavish lifestyles as well as their own! “We are here to serve” was their motto… It’s about to change to “What have you got? How much can we steal?”

  10. King Todza

    Zimra will never own up to any of their sins. They can misallocate a payment and ask you to write a letter to them to reverse the payment. They even hold your tax clearance while they sort out their sins and it can take more than 7 working days. They have been asking people to update their records (the master data exercise). Why should we update records that have not changed since we registered with Zimra? They even withheld tax clearances for people who failed to update their master data. Why should I complete a REV2 form to change my own details on my account in this day and age when I have supplied those details online in the first place? Why can’t I change them online? Zimra is manned by people seeking relevance in earning a salary and, obviously hustlers who charge you something to ‘make this happen’.

    In their ZIMRA INTEGRITY MANAGEMENT UPDATES a total of 247 ZIMRA employees have been suspended/dismissed from 2016 to 2021. What does that tell you about the goings-on at this institution?

  11. Expert

    They got caught with their pants down and now they don’t want to admit it. This is a prevailing problem in Zimbabwe and Africa. It’s a systematic issue that includes finance and procurement department. Budgets are not approved on time because the business does not see the ROI. Until organisations start treating IT and cybersecurity as pivotal we will keep seeing this until the lesson is learnt.

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