Bulk of tax arrears still outstanding
Jo-Maré Duddy - Taxpayers still owe the Receiver of Revenue more than 66% of arrears identified last year.
Inaugurating the founding board of directors of the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) on Monday, finance minister Calle Schlettwein said only N$1.3 billion of the N$2.59 billion principal tax liability to the state remains outstanding.
Schlettwein said NamRA is a “new institution for which we are working relentlessly to establish next year”.
“It is a macro-critical institution, to be responsible for the collection of the revenue for the state, administration of tax and customs and excise laws and efficient provision of taxpayer services,” he said.
Schlettwein has targeted total tax revenue of N$53.5 billion in the current budget year. In 2019/20, he hopes to increase it by about one percent or N$573 million to some N$54 billion. By 2021/22, total tax revenue should exceed N$60 billion.
“The taxpayer and traders communities increasingly need more efficient and effective taxpayer services, most notably the ease of paying taxes and simplicity of self-assessment through e-filling services,” the minister said on Monday.
In addition, “ethical conduct and the performance-driven culture among staff of the revenue and customs and excise offices are key to operational efficiency and the public confidence in the revenue office”, he added.
Some of the NamRA board's immediate duties are to oversee the process of recruiting a commissioner of the agency by January next year, as well as the recruitment of senior management.
The board will also have to develop and adopt a strategic and business plan for NamRA.
In addition, they will have to oversee the “implementation of a robust stakeholder engagement and change management processes for a smooth transition to the new institution”.
Schlettwein said he will enter into a performance agreement with the board within the next few days, encompassing “time-bound deliverables on the transitional activities”.
The NamRA board consists of:
Anna Nakale-Kawana: Chairperson
Former Commissioner of Revenue, former founding board chairperson of the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa), and former managing director of NamibRe.
Stefan Hugo: Deputy chairperson
Tax expert and chartered account, and former tax practice leader with PwC Namibia.
Shirene Bumpton: A human resources expert now plying her trade at the Bank of Namibia (BoN).
Melanie Tjienda: The head of ICT quality assurance, standards and skills development in the Office of the Prime Minister, and former chief systems analyst with the ICT division at the ministry of finance.
Adv Dennis Khama: Admitted legal practitioner, a former deputy director at the Financial Intelligence Centre, a former public prosecutor and senior official at the ministry of justice and former director on several boards.
The permanent secretary of the ministry of finance and the NamRA commissioner will be the ex-officio members of the board.