Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has given tax registered businesses up to 31 December 2016 to comply with new fiscalisation requirements. In line with 2016 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review statements by the Finance Minister, Hon. Patrick Chinamasa, all businesses registered for value added tax (VAT) are supposed to have implemented the electronic tax registers in their businesses. Businesses are registered for VAT when they reach sales of either $5,000 per month or $60,000 per annum whichever comes first. Fiscalised devices are electronic gadgets which contain special read only memory which are inbuilt into it. Electronic tax registers, printers and electronic signature devices are all different types of fiscalised devices. These devices have been deployed by ZIMRA since October 2011 in order to improve revenue collection, plug leakages and incentivise businesses to comply with the tax laws of the land.

As a carrot to businesses, ZIMRA will allow ‘fiscalised’ businesses to claim 50% of the cost of the devices as input tax on their returns. Also, all devices being sold by ZIMRA approved suppliers are VAT zero rated, meaning they are a bit cheaper than they ordinarily should have been. ZIMRA has roped in six suppliers to roll out the fiscalisation project but all the companies are located in Harare making it harder for those operating outside the capital to access the machines.

Previously only category C registered taxpayers were supposed to fiscalise in accordance with statutory instrument 104/2010. Category C is for large businesses with sales of more than $240,000 per annum. But ZIMRA has been having problems of revenue collection with SMEs who are under the category C threshold, thus this has necessitated the fiscalisation of category A, B and D. Categories A and B are for smaller businesses whose revenue falls below $240,000 per annum whilst category D is meant for seasonal businesses with irregular income. Effective 1 January 2017, all VAT registered retailers are required to either use a fiscalised electronic registers or a regular point of sale with a fiscal memory device whilst all other VAT registered businesses are required to use one of three approved fiscalised devices.