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return is received by ZIMRA. Where the refund is not paid out within this period, interest is payable at a rate fixed by the Minister, which is equal to interest chargeable on delayed payments made to ZIMRA.

Time limits

The recovery of output tax is subject to a general prescription period of six years. In cases of fraud or suspected fraud, cases may be opened beyond the prescription period.

The maximum period for claiming input tax is 12 months from the end of the tax period in which the relevant tax return had to be filed.

VAT records

Tax invoices

A registered operator is required to issue a tax invoice within 30 days from the date of supply, but if the consideration in money does not exceed US$10, a tax invoice is not required. However, in such cases, some type of source document is required in order to enable the purchaser to claim input tax, e.g. a till slip or petty cash slip.

A tax invoice must contain the following particulars:

  • the words ‘tax invoice’ in a prominent place;

  • name, address and VAT registration number of the supplier;

  • name, address and VAT registration number of recipient;

  • individual serialised number and date of issue;

  • description of goods or services;

  • quantity or volume of goods or services supplied;



  • the price of the goods including VAT, in one of the following ways:

    • the amount excluding VAT, plus the VAT charged and the amount including VAT; or

    • where VAT is included in the final price, the consideration, together with a statement that VAT is included and the rate of tax; or

    • where VAT is included in the final price, the amount charged including VAT and the amount of VAT charged.

A tax invoice can be in either Zimbabwean dollars or a foreign currency (mainly US dollars or South African rands) and VAT is accounted for in the relevant currency in which it was invoiced or the payment for the supply of goods or services was made.

Agents may issue tax invoices on behalf of principals. Special permission needs to be obtained to use electronic data interchange (EDI).

Where a registered operator purchases secondhand goods from a nonregistered operator to support his claim for input tax, the purchaser has to record the following:

  • name, address and identity (ID) number of the supplier (ID number of the representative person if it is a company);

  • date of acquisition;

  • quantity or volume of goods;

  • consideration for the supply;

  • the recipient must verify the person’s ID number or passport number;

  • where the amount of the supply is US$10 or more, the recipient must obtain and retain a copy of the person’s ID document, and, in the case of a company, a business

letterhead or similar document that shows the name and registration number allocated by the relevant authority is also required.

Where the goods concerned have been repossessed from a nonregistered operator, the person (registered operator) exercising his right of repossession is required to keep details as mentioned above.

Credit notes and debit notes

The details are almost exactly the same as the details for a tax invoice. In addition, the amount of the adjustment (consideration and VAT) must also be reflected and it must refer to the original tax invoice that is affected by the adjustment (i.e. the invoice date and number), as well as reasons for issuing the credit or debit note.

Credit notes issued and debit notes received are to be reflected as input tax on VAT returns, while debit notes issued and credit notes received are to be reflected as output tax on VAT returns.

Additional export documentation

These may change from time to time, but the major documents are CD1 forms from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, an air waybill, bill of lading, bill of entry, rail advice and notes and invoices bearing foreign addresses.

Record keeping

Where the records are kept in book form (e.g. a sales journal, cash book or bank deposit book) these records must be kept for a period of six years from the date of the last entry in that book.

Where not kept in book form (e.g. tax invoices, individual deposit slips, stock sheets, etc.) they must be kept for a

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