The Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) through the electronic tax relief programme, which ended on 31 January 2022, waived a total amount of over N$11 million in penalties. This was revealed by NamRA commissioner Sam Shivute at the occasion of taxpayers and traders appreciation day held last week.
Shivute stated the total number of taxpayers who participated in the programme stood at 47 493, while an amount of N$1 320 528 999 was collected and paid into the state account.
“This amount represents 7% of the opening tax debt for fiscal year 2021/2022. We would like to thank all taxpayers who participated in this programme and ensured that their tax affairs are in order. This is the right thing to do,” he applauded.
NamRA is currently one year old and according to Shivute, the agency is still at an infant stage. According to him, the agency exceeded its revenue target with N$3 billion. Going forward, he said NamRA has developed a compliance and enforcement strategy aimed at curbing tax evasion and to improve revenue collection.
As of 30 September 2021, Namibian taxpayers owe an astounding N$36 billion in penalties to NamRA. About 117 600 taxpayers were penalised for late submission and payments.
In response to the adverse economic impact brought about by Covid-19, the finance ministry through NamRA introduced a tax incentive programme known as the electronic filing tax relief programme. This incentive programme was introduced with the aim of offering much-needed relief to taxpayers by writing off a percentage of the interest and penalties owed as a tax arrears to NamRA.
Shivute also promoted the online filing of tax returns and general usage of the integrated tax administration system (ITAS): “The online filing made it easier and convenient for taxpayers to file their returns, upload various documents and communicate with NamRA and finally provide an infusion of cash into the state revenue fund through the settlement of tax arrears by delinquent taxpayers.”
The commissioner stated that both before and after the closing date of the programme on 31 January 2022, there were numerous requests to extend the tax incentive programme to afford more taxpayers an opportunity to partake and settle their tax dues.
He noted the ministry has considered to again run the modified electronic tax relief programme that stipulates 70% of interest and 100% of penalties will be waived if taxpayers with tax arrears register on ITAS portal and pay off the outstanding capital amount during the first six months, effective 1 June 2022.
Shivute continued: “60% of interest and 100% of the penalties will be waived if a taxpayer with tax arrears registers on the ITAS portal and pays off the outstanding capital amount during the remaining six months effective 1 December 2022 to 30 May 2023.”