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Geingob inaugurates NamRa

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President Hage Geingob on Wednesday inaugurated the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRa) aimed to transform revenue administration in an effective and efficient manner. The agency was established following a decision taken by cabinet in 2013, to transform the existing in-house departments […]

President Hage Geingob on Wednesday inaugurated the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRa) aimed to transform revenue administration in an effective and efficient manner.

The agency was established following a decision taken by cabinet in 2013, to transform the existing in-house departments of Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise within the Ministry of Finance into a Semi-autonomous tax administration body.

In his remarks at the launch in the capital, Geingob said this setting represents a distinct addition to the stock of robust national institutions with a great latitude of transparency and accountability, thus enhancing public trust in the administration of tax laws.

“The establishment of NamRa is central to our domestic resources mobilization agenda. The reform will sharpen our institutional capacity and responsiveness to the complexities of an increasingly integrated regional and global economy,” he said.

He highlighted that the nexus between taxation and inclusive growth is of fundamental importance in the discharge of tax policy and tax administration functions saying that it is therefore imperative that the tax system increasingly fosters inclusive economic growth.

“The function of public revenue administration is part and parcel of the social contract between the state and its citizens. A broader tax base fosters the government accountability to citizens and creates incentives for greater responsiveness to citizens,” the Head of State noted.

“I am aware that NamRa is being established against an impeccable record of an already high revenue to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) collection rate by the government, averaging 32 per cent of GDP when SACU receipts are included or some 22 per cent excluding SACU receipts,” said Geingob.

In both instances this is above the Sub-Saharan African average of 17 per cent tax-to-GDP ratio and compares well globally, he said.

Speaking at the same event, Minister of Finance, Ipumbu Shiimi, said taxpayers should be educated on the benefit principles in the sense that, all services provided to them are only possible if every individual earning an income of more than the taxable threshold of N.dollars 50 000 per annum, declares his/her income and pays tax.

In addition, Shiimi conferred tax and customs administration powers to NamRa’s founding commissioner, Sam Shivute during the event.

Source: Namibia Press Agency

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