The deadline for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with a yearly gross turnover between US$60 000 to US$240 000 to register for value added tax (VAT) expires on Friday with regulatory authorities ruling out further extension of the deadline.

Information from ZIMRA indicates that 12151 SMEs have registered ahead of the deadline on Friday, with the authority’s Acting Commissioner General, Mr Happias Kuzvinzwa calling on other SMEs to comply with the directive.

“The need to comply with the directive is critical as we seek to enhance competitiveness,” he said.

A tax expert, Mr Marvellous Tapera said there is need for the SMEs industry to focus towards compliance with stipulated regulations to facilitate economic development.

Another tax expert, Mr Simon Gwenzi said the registration of SMEs for VAT will also enable them to be included in formal investment opportunities.

“Formal investment opportunities are key for the growth of this economy, so SMEs must not be left out,” he said.

The SMEs sector is being considered critical in achieving economic growth, a move that resulted in the Minister of Finance, Cde Patrick Chinamasa proposing the inclusion of the sector in the formal tax systems during the presentation of the 2017 national budget.