SMEs call for tax relief

SMEs call for tax relief

SMALL to medium enterprises (SMEs) have called on various stakeholders to pressurise Government to follow the example of some neighbouring countries and introduce tax relaxations for small businesses.

SMEs said it was a fact that setting up a business was the most difficult period for most small entrepreneurs, and that this period was worsened by immense tax burdens. This was revealed at the small business forum held by the Joint Consultative Council – formerly Joint Consultative Committee – for Windhoek based small businesses, to listen to tax advisers on how they could make the current local tax system work for SMEs.A tax consultant and partner with PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PWC) Patty Karuaihe-Martin advised SMEs to be familiar with the local tax regulations, as this had a bearing on their businesses.She called on the Government to put in place legislation that was conducive for SMEs development, saying “whilst legislation in South Africa is supportive of local small businesses we are still waiting for this in Namibia”.Karuaihe-Martin said it was unfortunate that tax reliefs did not yet exist for Namibian small businesses, which made it difficult to talk about import substitution.She, however, advised SMEs to comply with the law, register and pay tax.SMEs owners that attended the forum were interested in learning on how to deal with Pay-As-You-Earn, company tax and Value Added Tax, and import and export opportunities.During the discussion it became apparent that the Namibian tax system had a number of loopholes, which required tightening should the state wish to ensure that the taxpayer’s money is well managed.At the same occasion, JCC chairperson Anne Gebhardt announced the organisation’s new name from Joint Consultative Committee to Joint Consultative Council, saying the JCC had over the years grown into a formidable force in economic development in Namibia, and “for this reason that we feel it is time to consider us as a Council which serves in an advisory capacity rather than informal appearing previously applicable term: Committee”.The gathering also heard that JCC national co-ordinator Peik Bruhns would step down from the JCC board of directions at the organisation’s next general assembly scheduled for early next year.This was revealed at the small business forum held by the Joint Consultative Council – formerly Joint Consultative Committee – for Windhoek based small businesses, to listen to tax advisers on how they could make the current local tax system work for SMEs.A tax consultant and partner with PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PWC) Patty Karuaihe-Martin advised SMEs to be familiar with the local tax regulations, as this had a bearing on their businesses.She called on the Government to put in place legislation that was conducive for SMEs development, saying “whilst legislation in South Africa is supportive of local small businesses we are still waiting for this in Namibia”.Karuaihe-Martin said it was unfortunate that tax reliefs did not yet exist for Namibian small businesses, which made it difficult to talk about import substitution.She, however, advised SMEs to comply with the law, register and pay tax.SMEs owners that attended the forum were interested in learning on how to deal with Pay-As-You-Earn, company tax and Value Added Tax, and import and export opportunities.During the discussion it became apparent that the Namibian tax system had a number of loopholes, which required tightening should the state wish to ensure that the taxpayer’s money is well managed.At the same occasion, JCC chairperson Anne Gebhardt announced the organisation’s new name from Joint Consultative Committee to Joint Consultative Council, saying the JCC had over the years grown into a formidable force in economic development in Namibia, and “for this reason that we feel it is time to consider us as a Council which serves in an advisory capacity rather than informal appearing previously applicable term: Committee”.The gathering also heard that JCC national co-ordinator Peik Bruhns would step down from the JCC board of directions at the organisation’s next general assembly scheduled for early next year.

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