Namibia Revenue Agency's (NamRA) Commissioner, Sam Shivute says tax morality and the compliance rate among Namibians are very low.

Shivute, together with other NamRA officials, visited Otjiwarongo to engage stakeholders on tax, customs, and excise matters in the Otjozondjupa Region.  

Compliance with tax laws is crucial for the state to function and support government programs and services toward improving citizens' lives.

Namibia is one of three African countries that gives grants to pensioners or people with disabilities - making tax compliance even more important. 

"We want to improve voluntary compliance, our compliance module for those who want to comply. We must make it easy for you to comply, and we must again make it easy for those who really do not want to comply." 

Besides non-compliance, he says N$104 million have been paid out wrongfully, in refunds to individuals who do not qualify for such but provided NamRA with false information.

With a lack of investigators at present, NamRA Commissioner says the figure is not likely to drop soon.

"We are paying our taxes annually, they changed their status from being individual taxpayers, to provisional taxpayers, some of them become social media farmers, and some of them do not even have a goat or have never even been out of town, these guys have been getting refunds on an annual basis and they are working together with the corrupt individual."

We are making progress, and a number of criminal cases have been opened against such culprits, and in many such cases, NamRA has been able to access these individuals through their bank accounts.

Otjozondjupa Governor, James Uerikua urges those eligible to pay taxes and fulfill their mandate.

"The more revenue you collect, the more government is able to foot its bills and expenses and to carry us through the economic emancipation agenda which is our second struggle, because our first was about liberating the country. Any country will not exist without a strong tax system because you are not able to collect enough revenue."

Stakeholders attending the meeting also had a chance to ask questions for NamRa to respond to, on the spot.

The event ended with a donation of 265 spades by NamRA, to the office of the Otjozondjupa Region Governor, for distribution to the region's agricultural sector.


Photo Credits
The Namibian


Eveline Paulus