Journal of
Accounting and Taxation

  • Abbreviation: J. Account. Taxation
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6664
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAT
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 189

Full Length Research Paper

Taxing the informal sector through presumptive taxes in Zimbabwe: An avenue for a broadened tax base, stifling of the informal sector activities or both

Favourate Y. Sebele Mpofu
  • Favourate Y. Sebele Mpofu
  • Department of Accounting, Faculty of Commerce, National University and Technology, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 27 April 2021
  •  Accepted: 23 July 2021
  •  Published: 31 July 2021

Abstract

Domestic revenue generation occupies a central domain in most countries, leading to continuous mapping of strategies towards its enhancement. Taxation is a dependable and foreseeable avenue to generate revenue for governments to fulfil their key obligations of employment creation, economic growth and infrastructural development, poverty reduction and state security. Despite these plausible arguments, tax revenues are minimal and tax bases narrow in developing countries. Contemporary tax debates point out that informal sector represents a lucrative fountain of tax revenue for governments, yet opponents of taxing the sector suggest that taxation might cripple small firms. Zimbabwe introduced presumptive tax in 2005, further enforcing to expand the tax base by including the sector into the tax basket in 2011. Researchers have focused on tax evasion and non-tax compliance when studying this sector, this paper focuses on the stakeholders perceptions on the impact of informal sector taxation on revenue generation and growth. This study adopted a sequential exploratory mixed method approach, argued to be ideal for under-researched areas such as this one. Key findings were that the current one size fit all tax framework suffocates small firms. Governments have to strike a balance between revenue mobilisation and the sector’s key economic contributions, without crippling informal firms.

 

Key words: Informal sector, taxation, growth, stifling, revenue mobilisation.