30 Jan 2014 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 30 JAN (NAMPA) - Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on Thursday introduced the nine members of the task team on the establishment of a semi-autonomous revenue agency which will assist with tax administration in Namibia.
Speaking at a media briefing here on Thursday, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the team will be advising on the transitional arrangements from the current structure to the new revenue agency.
The key reform areas encompass the modernisation of the tax system through the introduction of the Integrated Tax Administration System and broadening and deepening of the tax system.
Amongst other things, the ministry has also embarked on the Business Process Re-engineering exercise to streamline and improve business processes in order to further improve internal efficiency.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said as part of envisioned institutional reforms, the Ministry of Finance commissioned a study to look at the feasibility of an agency to assist in tax administration.
The process started in 2012 and concluded with a regional study tour in 2013.
The study concluded that tax administration is most optimised within a revenue agency model due to the flexibility that such an agency has in harnessing specialised skills and leveraging technological innovations, she said.
The minister said Cabinet in principle approved the establishment of a revenue agency and establishment of a dedicated task team to develop options for the revenue agency models that can be considered for Namibia.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said once a model has been adopted, the task team will spearhead the drafting of the legal framework and assist with the setting up of the revenue agency.
However, she said the tax policy function will remain with the minister.
The Finance Minister further said the reforms will propose mechanisms to assist her to effectively administer the tax policy development function and to oversee the revenue agency.
It is my expectation that the establishment of the revenue agency will add to the building of strong domestic institutions and bring about efficiency in the provision of taxpayer services and administration of tax laws, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.
She noted that a timeline of two to three years has been set to get the new revenue agency up and running.
The task team consists of Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance I-Ben Nashandi (as chairperson); technical advisor at Bank of Namibia Emile van Zyl; Head of the Tax Reform Project in the Ministry of Finance, Patty Karuaihe-Martin; Deputy Director in the Ministry of Finance Penda Ithindi and senior economist at the Bank of Namibia (BoN), Bernie Zaaruka.
Other members are BoN economist Ntwala Mwilima; economist in the Ministry of Finance Salome Idhenga; control taxation officer in the Ministry of Finance Thandi Hambira; and deputy director in the Ministry of Finance, Nadine Du Preez.