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  • the company does not hold sufficient records (in this case no input tax can be claimed at all under any section of the VAT Act).

The operator whose registration is cancelled must pay VAT on stocks on hand at the time of cancellation as this is deemed to be a supply in the operator’s hands. Arrangements for settling VAT due can be made on an individual basis.



VAT is levied and paid on the importation of any goods into Zimbabwe by any person unless an exemption applies. The importer of goods is liable to pay the VAT levied on importation.

Goods are deemed to be imported on the date the goods are entered for home consumption (i.e. cleared through customs). This date is reflected on the customs bill of entry or Form 49 receipt (for importations valued at US$1,000 or less). The VAT on importation must be paid at the same time as the customs duty.

The value to be placed on the importation is the value of the goods for customs duty purposes as provided under the Customs and Excise Act.


VAT is levied and paid on the supply of any ‘imported services’ by a supplier who is not a resident of Zimbabwe or who carries on business outside Zimbabwe, to a recipient who is a resident of Zimbabwe, to the extent that the services will be utilised or consumed in Zimbabwe otherwise than for making taxable supplies. An apportionment may therefore have to be made.



The VAT is payable by the recipient of the imported services. The recipient must declare and pay VAT on the prescribed form (VAT 9) within 30 days of importation.

prescribed goods and services purchased by diplomats and foreign staff of specified diplomatic missions or certain representatives of international or regional organisations or agencies; or


goods or services supplied to prescribed persons.


An administration fee may be charged, but the amount has not been determined. Refund claims must be made within six years from the date of payment of the VAT.

Where goods are consigned or delivered to an address outside Zimbabwe, the supply of the goods will be zero rated. Any goods or services consumed within Zimbabwe are not eligible for zero rating.


Place, time and value of supplies

Exported services (e.g. to nonresidents or services physically rendered outside Zimbabwe) can be zero rated, provided they are rendered to persons who do not utilise the services for the purposes of carrying on a trade in Zimbabwe.

Refunds to foreigners

Place of supply

There are no elaborate rules in this regard. An operator is deemed to be trading for the purposes of VAT where the regular and continuous activities of supplying goods for a consideration take place in Zimbabwe or partly in Zimbabwe.

There are no refunds of VAT paid on either goods or services purchased by a tourist who subsequently exports them directly or indirectly to foreign destinations. The law allows zero rating of tour packages of tourist services that include accommodation and food, and hunting safaris where tourists pay in foreign currency to operators of tourist facilities, hotels, and camping and safari or hunting facilities.

Time of supply

The general rule is that the time of a supply is the earlier of the time an invoice is issued or any payment is received.

Various other time of supply rules also apply, for example in the following cases:

rental agreements – the time is the earlier of payment received or when payment becomes due;

progressive or periodic supply of goods – the time is the earliest of payment received, payment becoming due, or an invoice issued relating only to that payment;

instalment credit agreement – the time is the earlier of delivery or payment received;

VAT Regulations allow embassies, diplomatic missions and diplomats who pay VAT on the purchase of goods and services to claim relief by way of refunds as prescribed by the Ministry of Home Affairs on qualifying purchases. Vouchers in support of the tax claims will have to be attached to the claims.

The Commissioner may authorise VAT refunds on:

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