NamRA plans to collect over N$68bn owed

January 13, 2023

The Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) says it may contract third-party agents, including employers, to help it recover over N$68.8 billion it is owed by taxpayers.

The national tax collector added that it might also be forced to garnish bank accounts of defaulting taxpayers, using Section 91 of the Income Tax Act which allows it to appoint a third-party to collect outstanding taxes from defaulting individuals or businesses.

"The tax laws administered by NamRA provide avenues for the recovery of tax debts and empower the NamRA Commissioner to direct a Third-Party Agent who holds any money on behalf of a defaulting taxpayer to pay a specified amount to NamRA in satisfaction of the taxpayer's arrears," said NamRA's Chief Strategic Communication and Support Engagement, Steven Ndorokaze.

"An agent can be anyone who we know or deem to be having the defaulting individuals' money. Those are the people or institutions we will approach so that they can collect on our behalf. So if we know you have funds in the bank we can approach and make such an arrangement to deduct and transfer what's due to us, same applies to the employers as well."

However, before appointing debt collectors, Ndorokaze added, defaulters or debtors would be engaged and urged to make payment arrangements.

“If that fails, a follow-up will be done. And if all those steps fail, then we approach whom we think or know holds your debtor's funds and appoint them as our agent," he said, adding that no commission will be paid to the appointed agents.

The revenue agency has also resolved to offset any tax refund against any outstanding debt owed.

This was after NamRA had achieved 72% of its N$53.4 billion annual target for the financial year ending March 2023. NamRA collected a net revenue amount of N$38.5 billion for the period April to November 2022.

"The amount collected excludes N$5.1 billion paid in refunds to taxpayers, with the greater part being Value-Added Tax (VAT) refunds," Ndorokaze said.

"22% of that is capital tax liability, while interest and penalties make up the balance. NamRA is therefore committed to enhancing its tax recovery processes, which saw the review of the Notice to Agents process towards the end of last year," he explained.

In the last financial year ended 31 March 2022, NamRA raked in N$60.5 billion, surpassing its collection target of N$49.4 billion for the period. Of the amount collected during the period, N$7.6 billion was paid in refunds, leaving the revenue agency with N$52.9 billion.

The Namibia Revenue Agency was established in 2017 to, amongst other functions, assess and collect taxes and duties on behalf of the States, receive and record all State revenue on behalf of the State, improve service delivery to taxpayers and promote compliance with the revenue laws and advise the Minister of Finance on matters relating to tax administration.

The revenue body is part of government’s efforts to increase revenue collection efficiency in the country.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 17 January 2023 20:06

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