NCCI advocates for widening tax base

13 Sep 2017 21:50pm
OSHAKATI, 13 SEP (NAMPA) - The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) has expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the tax amnesty announced by the Ministry of Finance as an appropriate tool to increase tax collections.
NCCI Chief Executive Officer, Tarah Shaanika in a media release on Wednesday said the tax amnesty was introduced at a wrong time when most businesses are struggling and their capacity to pay tax arrears has weakened significantly.
“We doubt that the second amnesty will do the trick in collecting more revenue, considering the economic hardships which define the business environment in Namibia at the moment,” Shaanika said.
The NCCI, therefore called on Government to consider widening the tax base, hunt down businesses which hide income to avoid tax and give adequate support to local businesses to grow.
The Ministry of Finance recently announced the extension of its Tax Recovery Incentive Programme to 11 March 2018.
A media statement issued Monday stated that the programme will start on 11 September 2017.
Shaanika said the NCCI had observed that a number of businesses, mostly foreign owned did not provide tax receipts while some even refused electronic bank transfers which created suspicions that they might be trying to avoid declaring their true income to avoid paying taxes to the Namibian Government.
He said the NCCI had also noted that there were a number of foreign owned businesses which still did not bank their income in local banks and preferred to store cash.
“These suspicions have been reported to Government on numerous occasions but it appears that the situation continues.
“We are concerned that Government is struggling to increase the tax revenue because the tax base is not wide enough and that it appears to be quick to punish tax payers who fail to pay on time while turning a blind eye to foreign businesses which we believe do not pay taxes at all,” Shaanika lamented.