NamRA’s ‘fishy’ tax assessment disputed…. Fishing industry says it contributes N$1,32 billion in taxes

The Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations has said according to its estimates the fishing industry contributed N$1,32 billion dollars in taxes and levy contributions to the state coffers in its last assessment of the fishing industry.

Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) executives expressed concern on what was said to be the minimal contribution of the fishing sector in taxes.

Despite its massive size, NamRA officials said the fishing industry’s contribution to tax revenue was one of the lowest of major industries.

Figures presented by NamRA Commissioner, Sam Shivute during a meeting with President Hage Geingob showed that compared to other key industries, fishing only contributed one percent in taxes, mining 22 percent, manufacturing 13 percent, retail 29 percent, financial 27 percent and agriculture one percent.

Chairman of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations, Matti Amukwa disputed NamRA’s tax assessment of the fishing industry in an interview with the Windhoek Observer. He said the contribution in taxes and levies amounted to about N$1,32 billion.

Amukwa said the industry through the Confederation of Namibian Fishing associations stands ready to meet with NamRA ‘whenever they are available to talk to us.’
Pressed on whether, the industry agrees that it can contribute more to state coffers, Amukwa said: “Until we have exchanged views with NamRA, we cannot really respond to this question.”

On challenges facing, the fishing industry, Amukwa said high fuel prices are putting pressure on the industry.
“Fuel is an important cost factor in catching fish which is sold in markets far away from Namibia attracting high transport costs to reach its destination,” he said.

NamRA indicated last week that it was investigating tax compliances by some of the fishing companies.
The association said NamRA’s comments that it was concerned with the low contribution of the fishing industry to the revenue of the country was a great concern as it industry was not consulted to understand the industry’s operation, to discuss its concerns and find answers to its questions.

The association said apart from the relevant taxes paid by the industry to the State, there are a multitude of statutory payments made by the industry to the government such as quota levy, marine resources fund levy, fisheries observer agency levy, Namibia Training Authority levy, export levy, Namibia Standards Institute levy and the Marine By-catch levy.

“The fishing industry through the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations stands ready to engaging NAMRA to clarify the situation concerning the industry’s contribution to the Fiscus and also its economic contribution to Namibia,” the association said.

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