By Simon Liseli
THE Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) in Katima Mulilo is calling on government to extend and grant an amnesty of one year period.
NCCI and business community in Katima Mulilo have co-opted requesting the Minister of Finance Mr. Calle Schlettwein to consider their request of granting a tax amnesty of one year that will enable tax payers to obtain maximum advantage.
This was issued on behalf of the Katima Mulilo business community by the Chairperson of the executive committee of NCCI Katima Mulilo branch Mr. Ace Mutelo.
According to Mr. Mutelo, The branch believes that a number of businesses who have taken advantage of tax amnesty that expired on April 3, 2018 will be in better position to start new pages in their businesses.
“We would like to congratulate all businesses that took part in tax amnesty and we thank the government for that noble programme” said Mr. Mutelo.
He believes that business community working together in the government can increase to the contribution of business in Namibia to the fiscal that will enable to help the country to achieve its development objectives encapsulated in the Harambee prosperity plans, national development plans and Vision 2030.
“The revenue collected by our government through tax incentive scheme is a testimony to the willingness of the business community to do their part in the national development agenda” he noted.
Mr. Mutelo is of the opinion that given the existing subdued economic performance on a macro level another amnesty for a year will produce better results as most critical industries are now trying to come out of recession.
He added that there is a tendency among officials of the receiver of revenue of targeting only small fish in tax law enforcement.
“The sizable businesses operating in our town are foreign owned businesses that continue to be non-compliant in terms of registering for value added tax (VAT) and submission of the correct income and the majority of those businesses do not bank their funds which is hard for receiver of revenue to estimate their table income and that puts a burden on small local businesses who have to ensure the regional contribution to the fiscal is significant” explained Mr. Mutelo.
He said some businesses that are reliant to government have their working capital locked up in unpaid invoices and that made it difficult to their taxes on time. He added that in efficient tax assessments continue to make taxpayer indebted for periods that would have been made earlier in terms of the turn-around time for assessment.
“We are concerned about large liens left on the business accounts of businesses to the extent that those businesses are no longer operational and we believe that this approach to tax collection will move people into the formal economic as they might run away from banking activities, and we thus reiterate our call for an extended amnesty with a number of reforms” he concluded.