In terms of Section 61 of the Income Tax Act [Chapter 23:06] every company which carries on a trade or has an office or other established place of business in Zimbabwe shall at all times be represented by an individual residing. Upon registration with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) for tax purposes, the taxpayer is required to appoint a public officer to represent them for all tax related issues.
- The public officer shall be a person approved by the Commissioner and shall be appointed by the company or by an agent or legal practitioner who has authority to appoint such a representative for the purposes of this Act. This means that only the company’s directors or shareholders can appoint a Public officer
- The public officer shall be appointed within one month from the establishment of such office or other place of business.
- A notice should be made to the commissioner specifying the name of the public officer and an address for service or delivery of notices and documents
- All companies are required to have a public officer at all times
Role of the Public Officer
- Receive all communications from ZIMRA including every notices, processes or proceedings which may be given, served upon or taken against the organization, made to the attention of the Public Officer.
- A public officer can be an agent of such company, a person acting or appearing to act in the management of the business or affairs of such company.
- Anything done by the public officer while acting for the company is deemed done by the company which he/she represents. That is, Public Officer is answerable for any omission or commission done or to be done by the company in terms of the tax law.
- Every Public Officer shall be answerable for the doing of all such acts, matters or things as are required to be done by a taxpayer under the Income tax Act. In case of default by a taxpayer the public officer is also liable to the penalties.
- Public Officer acts as the voice or representative of the taxpayer/company/organization regarding tax matters and represents the company in any meetings with ZIMRA.
ZIMRA Requirements for registration of public officers
- Letter of appointment as public officer, stating the full name, identity number (ID) number, residential address and a statement to the effect that the public officer is a signatory to the company’s bank account
- Proof of residence in form of utility bills, support with affidavit if not in your name
- Certified copies of identity documents for Public Officer/ Representative.
Change of Public officers
Change of public officer is done through the ZIMRA form REV 2 (change of details/application of additional revenue heads form). It is always important to have a public officer in the system as ZIMRA only communicates with public officers on important tax issues and cannot issue e-services pins or change the master data emails without a public officer for the account of the company.