Taxpayers owe N$79 billion

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Taxpayers owe N$79 billion

With six months left for the final leg of the tax amnesty programme, 235 505 taxpayers are in arrears with the Namibia Revenue Agency. 

What is owed includes a capital amount of N$17 billion, interest worth N$13 billion and penalties of N$49 billion. This adds up to N$79 billion.

This astronomical figure was shared by NamRA’s head of domestic taxes, Idi Itope, on Wednesday at the third edition of the taxpayer/trader appreciation day, held under the theme ‘Expecting Taxpayers and Traders to Positively Impact the Livelihood of Namibians through Compliance’. 

The appreciation day was intended to promote voluntary compliance and enhance tax morale by recognising and appreciating compliant taxpayers and traders, who continue to conform to the relevant laws administered by NamRA.

“Time is of the essence; the clock is ticking. Do your part and pay your dues,” said Itope. 

The programme is expected to conclude on 31 October 2024.

“I would like to emphasise to all concerned taxpayers that this is the final extension of this programme. It is important for all concerned taxpayers to participate before the due date because we shall not lend a sympathetic ear to anyone afterwards, warned finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi during his budget statement.

At the same event, NamRA commissioner Sam Shivute said, in the previous financial year, the State tax agency managed to collect N$86 billion, of which N$10 billion was paid to taxpayers as refunds. 

“The growth of revenue collection happened as a result of minimising revenue leakages. Because of what we have noted, we have a record of people who have been claiming fraudulent tax refunds over the past 10 years – and now, they’re being taken to task, and we are getting that money through notices to agents from the banks, unapologetically so, and we are committed to doing that,” warned Shivute. 

Furthermore, for the 2024/25 financial year, an amount of N$1 billion is allocated to NamRA. 

This allocation, deputy finance minister Maureen Hinda-Mbuende said, is pivotal in ensuring the effective collection of State tax and customs revenue, which plays a vital role in financing government operations and funding key public services. 

“The significant allocation to NamRA underscores the ministry’s commitment to strengthening revenue mobilisation efforts and enhancing tax compliance mechanisms. By providing adequate resources to NamRA, we aim to bolster its capacity to enforce tax laws, combat tax evasion and avoidance, and streamline customs procedures,” said Hinda-Mbuende in parliament.