By Hilary Mare
GOVERNMENT is on the verge of forfeiting up to N$12 billion in tax penalties following its decision to offer an olive branch to those having tax arrears last week.
With Government owed up to N$19 billion inclusive principle tax amounts, penalties and cumulative interests, it will in the next six months seek to redeem the principle of N$4 billion and 20 percent of the total owed interest and scrap the remaining amounts.
Speaking to Confidente on the sidelines of a state of the economy press conference last week, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said,: “Government will have to get to a state where it can do little bit more with less.”
He further said that treasury had been satisfied with the way they had re-aligned the budget to bring it to sustainable levels promising that there would be no budget cuts for the next financial year.
“All individuals, businesses, companies, close corporations and other entities with outstanding debt on their tax account/s may apply to participate in the Incentive Programme. Application forms for the Incentive Programme will be available at all regional revenue offices countrywide and must be duly completed and submitted to the nearest Receiver of Revenue Office.
“Payments may be made in instalments over a maximum period of six months, last instalment which must be made on 31 July 2017. Only once the full principal tax amount and 20 percent of interest are paid, will the remaining 80 percent portion of interest and all penalties be waived,” added Schlettwein.
Non-filed tax returns, under reported tax liability and taxpayers who never registered for taxes/ pay taxes for tax periods prior to the incentive programme period, are eligible for the incentive programme, provided the tax returns are submitted during the duration of the incentive programme and payment is made for the full outstanding tax and 20 percent of the interest.
Additionally, penalties and interest paid prior to the effective date of the Tax Incentive Programme are not refundable, taxpayers who are currently on a deferred payment plan can still apply to participate in the tax incentive programme, and arrear tax amounts relating to pending cases of fraud, illicit tax practices and corruption are not eligible for participation in this programme.
“Taxpayers who fail to apply to the Ministry of Finance to have a portion of the interest written off during the period allocated will forfeit this benefit when the incentive programme lapses. The Ministry of Finance will then enforce its collection mandate against taxpayers with outstanding balances on their tax accounts as if the programme was never introduced. Please note that this is a once-off programme, hence taxpayers are urged to make use of this opportunity not only to update and settle their tax accounts but also to register as taxpayers,” explained Schlettwein.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015