NamRA collects N$55 billion in revenue

Martin Endjala

The Namibia Revenue Agency announced a revenue collection of N$55 billion which is an increase from its initial target of N$53 billion for the 2022/23 financial year that ends this month.

The announcement was made by the Head of Strategic Communications, Stakeholder Engagement, Taxpayer Education and International Relations of NamRA, Steven Yarukeekuro Ndorokaze, during a media engagement, where he said that the agency will announce the agency’s final report on its annual revenue results.

Ndorokaze said that taxpayers owed the Ministry of Finance about N$70 billion, of which N$15 billion was capital and N$55 billion in revenue was collected.

The agency also announced that it will be granting amnesty to all taxpayers who still have outstanding debts to afford them time to come forth and settle their debts. The newly announced amnesty will apply to all capital taxpayers who sign up and file their tax returns via the e-filer system, where 100 percent of their debts will be waivered.

Furthermore, on the 19th of April 2023 taxpayers, who are in compliance with paying their taxes, will receive special incentives as a way of encouraging more people to follow suit. The same model is used in schools to encourage more students to accomplish better results.

Ndorokaze stressed that in the coming financial year which starts in April, the agency aims to avoid sending notifications to people to remind them to pay their taxes.

“We would rather like to hear questions like: Where are your offices so that I can pay my tax or what bank can I use to pay my dues?” he said.

Since its establishment in April 2021, by combining the customs directorate and revenue inventory, the agency has taken up the performance functions of the revenue services of old. It also had a massive recruitment drive to appoint roughly 1 000 new employees over the past twelve months.

Ndorokaze called on all taxpayers to come to the party and to make use of the newly announced amnesty while it is still available.

He stressed that the agency was created to serve the livelihoods of the Namibian people by making sure that taxpayers’ money is well looked after while also ensuring that those who are found contravening tax laws are fully brought to book.

NamRA’s Custom State Central Regional Warehouse Manager, Abner David, stated that the agency does not seize or detain goods of clients willy-nilly, but it only executes such drastic actions when goods slated for import or export does not meet standards.

David said that the notion in the public that the agency confiscates their goods (order with me), is not entirely true.

“NamRa only acts when the correct procedures, such as declaring goods correctly are not followed,” he said.

He explained that once the goods are detained to allow for further investigations or due to certain requirements not being met, clients are issued a detention notice which is given to clearing agents

He stated that agents are then responsible for informing the owners of the goods.

“Such notices are valid for 90 days only, and after the grace period expires, the goods are seized and put up for auction, or donated depending on the nature of the items,” he said.

Goods that are seized after samples of suspected counterfeit products are sent for verification to see whether it is conducive for use in Namibia.

“If the result comes back as positive, such goods are destroyed in line with the international customs law, of which Namibia is a signatory,” David stressed.

The NamRA Spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu stressed the importance of understanding the process to avoid confusion.

Shidhudhu urged members of the public to familiarize themselves with the procedures of the customs service.

He further assured that goods that are seized or detained while the owners are busy fixing their non-compliance issues are stored in the state warehouse, which has very tight security.

“Any person entering the warehouse must be accompanied by two customs officers, to ensure that these goods are protected,” he said.

The Manager of the customs warehouse added that customs officials are not responsible for determining whether goods are counterfeit or not. He said that an independent laboratory is used for this function.

The Principal Officer in charge of cargo at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, Martins Matengu, said that the volumes that come in per week, can reach up to 7 000, tonnes which makes it difficult to assess every single bag or box.

“Instead, the agency executes focussed operations in the Namibian market to root out counterfeit goods that might have made it through the border,” the officer said

Abner David also explained that those who are into selling communications gadgets such as phones are advised to apply for an import certificate from the Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) to avoid their goods being detained.

David stated that once detained or seized goods comply with the rules and regulations, they are cleared for import.

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