Initiation of Criminal Investigations

Taxpayers are required to meet their tax obligations as prescribed by Law.  Where they fail to do so, ZIMRA has the powers to address that failure using a range of compliance improvement measures including prosecution. Apart from penalty for various defaults, the Income-tax Act also contains provisions for launching prosecution proceedings against the taxpayers for various offences. The Revenue Assurance Investigation Division carries out criminal investigations regarding alleged violations of the tax and customs laws.

Sources of Criminal Investigations for ZIMRA

When tax auditors in ZIMRA detect possible misdemeanours regarding tax and/or Customs issues from the information they have, the Authority initiates investigations. Information can be obtained from investigations that will be underway already or it can be received from the public or other sources. 

Preliminary Analysis and Investigation Approvals

A preliminary analysis is conducted on a possible criminal case and relevant approval is sought prior to the case being taken up as a criminal investigation. 

Conducting a Criminal Investigation

Upon the opening of an investigation, the case officer gathers the facts and evidence needed to establish the elements of criminal activity. The case officer conducts interviews of third party witnesses, carries out surveillance, reviews financial data and other related information.

The case officer works closely with the Zimbabwe Republic Police and National Prosecuting Authority during the criminal investigation process. 


When the case officer files papers for prosecution, they will work with the prosecutor to prepare for trial. The case officer can be called as state witness to testify at the trial and support the state`s case against the alleged offender.


The desirable result of a Criminal Investigation prosecution recommendation is to get a conviction – through either by a guilty verdict or plea. The prosecuting and arraignment of offenders is meant to deter would be tax offenders, increase voluntary compliance and revenue flows and nip tax fraud in the bud.