Windhoek – President Hage Geongob’s government is finalising the establishment of a semi-autonomous tax collection authority, which will be known as the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA).
This comes at a time Namibia’s Ministry of Finance has said the country could have lost around N$9,2 billion (US$617 million) in pay as you earn, and corporate and other taxes in the past seven months.
Finance Minister Ipumbu Shiimi this week announced the appointment of long-serving Bank of Namibia director of banking Mr Sam Shivute as the pioneering NamRA Commissioner.
NamRA will be modeled along the lines of the South African Revenue Authority and will take over the tax collection function presently conducted by Finance Ministry.
It will also be tasked with setting up systems to plug leakages and enhance tax compliance.
Minister Shiimi said, “We, therefore, kindly appeal to the nation to support this process and for the media to partner us with the dissemination of correct information to the public. The reform is taking long simply because established due processes have to be followed the tax collection and trade facilitation cannot be interrupted.
“We have to have the systems running until the last day and on the same day switch over to NamRA systems, which will take over as the tax administration agency of Namibia.”
Minister Shiimi said the creation of NamRA would involve transformation of the Department of Inland Revenue and the Directorate of Customs and Excise into a single entity.
“Before day one of NamRA, which will be determined and announced to the public in advance, the NamRA Act (Act No 12 of 2017) will not be in force and NamRA as an institution does not yet exist. Until such a date; tax and customs and excise functions and the day-to-day operations will continue to be provided by the Department of Inland Revenue and the Directorate of Customs and Excise under the Ministry of Finance as it has been the case.
“As such, during the transitional period, the NamRA Commissioner will not have tax administration powers. Such powers will continue to be vested in the Commissioner of Revenue and Commissioner of Customs and Excise,” he said.