ONGWEDIVA - The Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein has called on taxpayers to embrace and promote the digital Intergrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders and economic growth of the country.
Schlettwein said only a fraction of 102 936 of the total tax population of 793 399 have registered as portal users
In Oshakati, which is the second largest tax collection office, only 11 percent have registered.
The minister admitted that that although there are benefits that come with ITAS the uptake and use of the system have been slow and the desired results not yet been realised.
“The expectation is to have all taxpayers registered on portal as e-filers as soon as possible,” said Schlettwein.
Schlettwein’s speech was read on his behalf by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Justus Mwafongwe at a tax talk held at the Ongwediva trade fair on Thursday.
Amongst other benefits, the minister, said the digital system would eliminate the long queues at Inland Revenue offices.
The minister further said that tax remains the government’s major income source hence effective tax collection cannot be overemphasised.
“We are committed to the full implementation of ITAS by ensuring that you as external users of the system fully understand its benefits and are adequately acquainted with it,” said Schlettwein.
The finance ministry said the aim of ITAS is to bring about an efficient tax administration system and also cut hurdles that taxpayers experience when filing manual tax returns.
Speaking on behalf of the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Northern Branch, businessman Robby Amadhila said the business community has in the last three years faced economic challenges leading to the closure of many businesses.
“Most business have closed down, many others are still closing down and truly this is an opportunity for us to restrategise; I always say things do not happen for no reason hence we shouldn’t be discouraged from taking risks and making sure we put new strategies in place to ensure that we overcome what we are experiencing now,” said Amadhila.