President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has come under
fire from Matabeleland activists for declaring the late Emilio Munemo a
national hero despite his links to the Fifth Brigade, which is blamed for the
deaths of over 20 000 people soon after ind…
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has come under
Former Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president
Farai Zizhou has once again petitioned the Supreme Court seeking permission to
challenge a judgement that ordered him to pay $500 000 to a victim of sexual
Zizhou was on October 30…
Chimurenga music maestro Thomas ‘Mukanya’ Mapfumo has urged local musicians to rise up and speak the truth to those in power so as to rescue the country from further collapse.
The ‘Corruption’ hit-maker told the Daily News on Sunday this week that…
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday said he does
not want to lead a divided party as he moved to heal the rift threatening to
tear apart the country’s leading opposition party ahead of its crucial congress
Chamisa is angling to take…
President Emmerson Mnangagwa moved to disband Zanu PF
structures in Harare and Bulawayo after growing concerns that Vice-President
Constantino Chiwenga’s growing influence was creating two centres of power.
According to insiders, a faction linked …
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says he is ready to step down if he loses the party’s internal polls scheduled for May this year, the Daily News on Sunday can report.
Chamisa – who assumed the reins of the country’s largest opposition party in February last…
The airline’s boss at the crash site
An Ethiopian Airlines jet has crashed shortly after
take-off from Addis Ababa, killing all on board.
The airline said 149 passengers and eight crew members were
believed to be on flight ET302 from the Ethiop…
Source: Tax issues of medical claims | Daily News Sickness has no respect of affluence and it befalls us all. At a given point in time, we may not all be in a position to cover the medical bills associated with such sickness and to guard against that some may decide to take medical insurance. Whenever one […]
Sickness has no respect of affluence and it befalls us all. At a given point in time, we may not all be in a position to cover the medical bills associated with such sickness and to guard against that some may decide to take medical insurance.
Whenever one visits the doctor, a claim form is completed by the health service provider (HSP) for an onward refund by the medical insurer.
Developments in the country however, make the HSPs having to wait for a long period spanning into more than 12 months in some cases.
What is brought to the fore is the issue of when such long outstanding claims would be reported for income tax purposes.
This is an issue of contention that needs to be ironed out to avoid situations whereby the taxpayer or the taxman tend to lose out on tax savings or tax revenue respectively due to ignorance or failure to understand the treatment of these medical claims.
The purpose of the article therefore is to clarify the issue in respect of how medical claims are treated for income tax purposes.
At what point are claims recognised as income?
Income is brought to tax when it is received or when it accrues, whichever occurs first.
In reference to the phrase “accrues” the law has stated that income accrues when a taxpayer becomes entitled to it.
An accrual is distinguished from a receipt because it is based on a taxpayer becoming entitled to an amount.
A medical service provider becomes entitled to payment upon performance of services or supply of goods and normally this is signified by an invoice which is an amount which is non-contestable.
A non-contestable invoice is an invoice which is complete in respect of quantity supplied and the price of the supply and there are no conditions attached whatsoever as to the service provided and the amount to be charged.
The fact that an amount is long outstanding or is paid in installments is not a condition precedent.
Coming back to the definition of an invoice, an invoice is a document instructing the other party to make payment for goods or services supplied.
It can therefore be argued that a medical aid claim form is an invoice.
The medical fraternity provides for the Association of Health Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) rates on medical aid claims and these are well known within the medical fraternity.
This means the conditions precedent are satisfied at the point of completing the claim. Hence the moment a claim is completed by the patient, the HSP becomes liable to pay tax on income accruing under the claim notwithstanding the money will be recovered from a medical aid society at a later date.
The Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe sets a tariff to be charged on any procedure performed by a medical and dental practitioner.
If the tariff exceeds the amount set by the AFHoZ rates for a medical procedure the excess will be paid by the patient.
This therefore buttresses the fact that a medical aid claim form suffices as an invoice for the payment of claims made by a medical service provider.
Tax in respect of waiver of right to receive payment
The fact that the taxpayer has waived the right to receive the payment or will receive the amount in instalments does not defer the tax point.
In other words the condition of payment cannot postpone point of accrual. Watermeyer J in the case of Lategan whilst stressing this point had this to say “… He has not become entitled to a right to claim payment in the year of assessment, but he has acquired a right to claim payment of the debt in future. This right has vested in him, has accrued to him in the year of assessment, and it is a valuable right which he could turn into money if he wishes to do so”.
This therefore means that, so long as the taxpayer becomes entitled to income, then the income has to be declared in the year of assessment. Any postponement of declaration of such income would be a violation of the tax laws.
HSPs cannot avoid income tax on long outstanding claims.
However, in the event that the claims become bad debts, these can be claimed as expenses to the extent that they are proved to the commissioner to be irrecoverable.
This is a contentious matter requiring a separate article.
HSPs are found in a fix to declare income for tax purposes and pay taxes on amounts not yet received, on the basis of their accrual.
In the event that the HSP omits the income in his/her return and the error is picked by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) he/she may face stiff penalty measures.
The revenue authority may raise an assessment in terms of the law for the understated income and request the HSP to settle the understated tax plus additional tax of 100 percent and interest at 10 percent per annum on the understated tax.
The HSP should therefore take into account outstanding claims in their returns to avoid the penalties. If you do not have the money to pay you should agree on a payment plan with Zimra to avoid the penal measures.
Meanwhile Matrix Tax School will be hosting its 2019 Victoria Falls Tax Conference from May 22 to 25, 2019.
Also join us on our 2019 VAT Seminar on the March 21, 2019 at Meikles Hotel to obtain an in-depth understanding of VAT rules.
n Tapera is the Founder of Tax Matrix (Pvt) Ltd and the CEO of Matrix Tax School (Pvt) Ltd. He writes in his personal capacity.
Source: Munemo hero status irks activists | The Standard (Local News) By NQOBANI NDLOVU President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has come under fire from Matabeleland activists for declaring the late Emilio Munemo a national hero despite his links to the Fifth Brigade, which is blamed for the deaths of over 20 000 people soon after independence. […]
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has come under fire from Matabeleland activists for declaring the late Emilio Munemo a national hero despite his links to the Fifth Brigade, which is blamed for the deaths of over 20 000 people soon after independence.
Munemo (64), a brigadier general, died last Sunday and was buried at the National Heroes Acre yesterday.
At the time of his death he was director general of civil military relations in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
Former president Robert Mugabe deployed the North Korean-trained army unit in the Midlands and Matabeleland province to fight the so-called dissidents, but researchers say it was a plot to crush support for the late vice-president Joshua Nkomo and his Zapu party.
According to an interview with a researcher, Munemo, who was one of the top Fifth Brigade commanders, said the soldiers targeted Ndebele speakers for torture and even for killings.
Activists said honouring Munemo showed that Mnangagwa’s government was insensitive and did not care about the victims of Gukurahundi.
“This is a slap in the face of thousands of his victims. Zanu PF has the audacity to send Kembo Mohadi, himself a former Zipra/Zapu cadre, to deliver the shocking message that Munemo is a national hero,” said Artwell Sibanda, the spokesperson for United Movement for Development Party led by former speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo.
Zapu supporters and members of Zipra — a military wing of the party during the war — bore the brunt of the brutal crackdown by the Fifth Brigade.
“The harrowing acts of unchecked barbarism and pillage cannot be rewarded with a hero status,” Sibanda added.
Munemo commanded one of the Fifth Brigade battalions and was later promoted from battalion commander to deputy commander before he later became commander of the Fifth Brigade, succeeding former Airforce commander and current Agriculture minister Perance Shiri.
“The hero status is a monumental and evil insult on the collective conscience of Zimbabweans and another clear indication that this government is not committed to national healing and reconciliation,” commented analyst Effie Ncube.
“This government proudly trafficks in corruption, hate, genocide and crimes against humanity.
“Honouring corrupt officials who destroy the country has become a culture of the leadership of the Zimbabwe.”
The Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) that has been vocal about Gukurahundi weighed in saying “honouring Munemo is an entrenchment and confirmation of Gukurahundi as a government ideology”.
“What hero status when the people of Matabeleland are still searching for answers and justice for his actions? It is a shame and contradiction to logic, having him to share the same honour with such men like Joshua Nkomo,” said Njabulo Ngwenya, the party’s spokesperson.
Mnangagwa has faced protests from activists and Gukurahundi victims in Pretoria, South Africa, and at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo in 2017 over his lack of action in dealing with the emotive issue.
Last year while in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, Mnangagwa was questioned over his role during Gukurahundi, and whether he was prepared to apologise.
He did not apologise, but has indicated that he is prepared to apologise if recommended by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.
“Victims want redress yet perpetrators are awarded and made heroes. It is contradicting the spirit of reconciliation,” commented Ekem Moyo, the chairperson of the Concerned Freedom Fighters group.
Gwanda-based commentator Bekezela Maduma Fuzwayo said Munemo’s hero status showed that the government did not regret the Gukurahundi atrocities.
“It just goes to show that Mnangagwa is far from regretting Gukurahundi and he keeps rewarding Gukurahundi perpetrators with heroism,” he said.
“It’s more saddening that Mnangagwa even showers him with praises and says his ‘good deeds have followed him’.
“This kind of behaviour never erases Gukurahundi anger in the people of Matabeleland.”
Mnangagwa showered praises on the late general in his condolence message to the Munemo family.
“This is testimony that Zanu PF isn’t worried about Gukurahundi victims who are still reeling in poverty and lack official documents like birth certificates and national registration cards,” said Felix Magalela Mafa-Sibanda, the chairperson of the Post-Independence Survivors Trust that represents Gukurahundi victims.
Matabeleland chiefs have also upped pressure on government to address the emotive issue, forcing an angry reaction from government.
In January, Chiefs Vezi Maduna and Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Khayisa Ndiweni wrote to the South African parliament requesting permission to be allowed to present “facts” about the 1980s mass killings in Matabeleland and Midlands to lobby the regional powerhouse to push for an independent investigation into the atrocities.
In November 2018, they petitioned the United Nations seeking the setting-up of an independent inquiry into the Gukurahundi massacres, attracting an angry government response.
Mbuso Fuzwayo, the coordinator of pressure group Ibhetshu LikaZulu, said the passing away of commanders of the Fifth Brigade was regrettable but defeats the efforts of truth-telling as “perpetrators take the truth to their graves”.
“Ibhetshu is concerned that the lack of urgency to address the Gukurahundi genocide will deny the nation the entire truth from those that implemented this callous act thus, deprive the nation of true healing,” Fuzwayo said, adding: “Any delay in addressing this is an act of selfishness and will deny this country proper and true integration.”
Source: ‘Scare tactics will not work’ | Daily News The continued clampdown and arbitrary arrest of civic leaders and opposition Members of Parliament in the aftermath of the January 14 to 16 stay-away called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to protest escalating prices will strengthen the resolve of the intended targets and their […]
The continued clampdown and arbitrary arrest of civic leaders and opposition Members of Parliament in the aftermath of the January 14 to 16 stay-away called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to protest escalating prices will strengthen the resolve of the intended targets and their supporters, analysts contend.
Police have targeted at least a dozen MDC MPs, political activities and leaders of labour unions accused of inciting the anti-government protests which turned violent in some areas.
They are accused of attempting to overthrow the government through unconstitutional means.
MP for Harare East Constituency, Tendai Biti recently told Parliament that since August 12 last year, 12 MPs from his party have been arrested on various charges.
The ZCTU alleges that State security agents have been pouncing on perceived opponents at the instigation of President Emmerson Mnangagwa after he was quoted at a Zanu PF rally saying; “we will sort them out”.
“Such words are unacceptable coming from the Head of State who is supposed to be a unifier,” said the labour body.
“The ZCTU is worried that this ‘New Dispensation’ has become more dangerous than the notorious racist Rhodesian regime of Ian Smith. It has become too paranoid that it is even afraid of its own shadows,” the union said in a statement.
ZCTU said the State action is contrary to the Constitution which guarantees freedom of expression.
“The ZCTU demands an environment conducive for freedom of expression and where every Zimbabwean can discharge his or her duties without fear of being arrested. We also demand that the government addresses issues that led to the 14 January 2019 stay away.”
Analyst Rashweat Mukundu believes that there is a pattern of wanting to instil fear and cower the opposition, civic and labour leaders by not only charging them with ridiculous allegations but also sentencing protesters to ridiculous years in prison.
“This is a collusion of the party, government, judiciary and the security services which demonstrate that our judiciary is not independent but acts on instructions from Zanu PF.”
Social analyst Lenox Mhlanga believes such a strategy is self-defeating and akin to shooting oneself in the foot.
“Such scare tactics will only serve to strengthen the resolve of the intended targets and their supporters. It will generate empathy for the victims and disdain for the perpetrators,” said Mhlanga.
Political analyst Vivid Gwede said intimidation will not work because it is short-lived and people will find their voices again.
“But it is worrying though that people appear to be targeted based on their very legal activities such as civic leaders. The Constitution of Zimbabwe does not criminalise that, but encourages civic participation. In fact, it does not criminalise having different views to the government of the day because that is a democratic right,” said Gwede.
ZIPP president Blessing Kasiyamhuru said government must focus on fixing the problem not the symptoms.
He said: “As long as real issues are not addressed, it won’t prevent others from rising again, you can actually harden them worse.”
Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhunga said the State crackdown on civil society and opposition leaders reflect a massive erosion of the rule of law and persecution through prosecution.
“Even if the courts eventually go through the trumped up charges, these leaders would have already suffered injustice of being arbitrarily arrested, detained, and taken through sham and expensive court processes.
“The Zimbabwe government ought to know that respect for the rule is a key pillar essential to political stability and to creating a conducive environment for investment and economic revival,” said Mavhunga.
He added that this mindless crackdown will not work, it is counterproductive and will undermine Zimbabwe’s efforts at international reengagement.
Lawyer and politician Obert Gutu said Section 59 of the Constitution clearly and unequivocally provides that every person has the right to demonstrate and to present petitions, but these rights must be exercised peacefully.
“For as long as Zimbabweans demonstrate peacefully, I honestly don’t foresee any situation whereby the State will, willy-nilly, persecute them and arrest them simply because they have peacefully demonstrated. That, of course, would be absolutely unreasonable and unconscionable.
“The trick is for demonstrators to play a smart game and to abide by the dictates of the supreme law of the land. There is no country in the world that will tolerate violent demonstrations that will lead to destruction of property and loss of innocent lives.”
He added that we have got to strike a balance here. “The rule of law dictates that all matters that are brought before the courts should be adjudicated upon expeditiously and impartially. It is not the responsibility of any one (no matter how powerful and/or aggrieved they might be), to dictate to the courts of law how matters that are brought before them should be handled.”