The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is said to have begun to tax teacher incentives, which teachers and their unions say should not be considered taxable income.
School headmasters are said to be working with ZIMRA to identify those receiving cash incentives paid by parents to compensate for low teacher salaries. Workers in urban schools receive at least US$150 a month in incentives, and some receive more.
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Chief Coporate Communicator Taungana Ndoro said the fiscal authority is still compiling a report on incentive taxation.
Education Minister David Coltart has stated that incentives are a non-taxable token of appreciation by parents, a position shared by unions representing teachers.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu said ZIMRA has introduced a presumptive tax on incentives - i.e. based on estimated receipts - leading some teachers to press parents for payments on which they expect to be taxed.
Union leaders said the move will create discord between parents and teachers.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe Secretary General Raymond Majongwe told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that his condemns the taxation of teacher incentives.
But lawyer Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, said Zimra under Zimbabwean tax law has a mandate to tax teachers and their incentives as income. He says the income tax code does not stipulate the types of income workers receive, but considers any monies received to be a form of income.
Madhuku said teachers must lobby for a tax exception for incentives.