Taxpayers owe N$79 billion

Namibia taxpayers owe the Namibia Revenue agency (Namra) N$79 billion stemming from capital debts, interest and penalties over the last financial year.

According to Idi Itope, the head of domestic taxes at Namra, 235 505 taxpayers are in arrears with Namra.

Itope was speaking during the Namra Taxpayer/Traders Appreciation Day in Windhoek on Wednesday.

Itope said taxpayers should register on the Namra portal and update their information in order to receive their refunds.

“We have your money in terms of refunds, but you need to update your contact and banking details for Namra to be able to refund you,” said Itope.

Bank of Namibia deputy governor and acting chief executive officer of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia, Ebson Uanguta, said the taxation system is the only way wealth can move from those who have to those who don’t.

According to Uanguta, paying taxes is the way corporations and individuals can contribute to the well-being of society.

“That is the most powerful tool that any government has to be able to create equality. It’s through taxation. Taxes collected from individuals and companies play a significant role in supporting economic growth by providing funds for government initiatives, infrastructure projects and job creation,” said Uanguta.

Economic growth for developing countries has been seeing a decline due a decrease in government spending, he added.

“In developing countries, if the government doesn’t spend enough, you see growth slowing down. And that’s why we should also grow the private sector, so that at the point when the government has slack, the private sector should be able to step in.”

Uanguta said it is, therefore, crucial for the government to invest money in entrepreneurship initiatives.

Namra commissioner Sam Shivute said since Namra’s inception, it has been delivering above what was set out by the ministry of finance.

“When you see the growth of those numbers, from N$52 billion and now N$78 billion, with the minister of finance now moving the amount to N$85 billion just yesterday, we will smile because we will deliver,” said Shivute.

All this is possible through compliant taxpayers and the hard work of the Namra team, he added.

Among those who were awarded yesterday, Debmarine Namibia walked away with the awards for highest contributor to employees’ tax, corporate income tax and value added tax, among others.

De Beers Marine Namibia was awarded as the top tax contributor in the domestic category, while Namibia Breweries was the overall top tax contributor in the customs and excise category.

Over 40 taxpayers and traders were awarded for their tax contributions.

The awards were based on compliance to tax laws.

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