Namibia: Revenue Department to set up special mining unit

from The Namibian..

By Chamwe Kaira

July 4, 2013

HE Ministry of Finance will set up a special mining unit within the large taxpayers office, Commissioner of Inland Revenue Department, Sam Shivute said in an interview.
In terms of new changes, which are part of the broader measures to improve revenue collection, the Department of Inland Revenue now has three directorates consisting of the large taxpayers directorate, the small and medium taxpayers directorate and the administration, legal and support directorate.
“A special mining unit will be established within the Large Taxpayers Office,” Shivute said
“The objective of the mining unit is to provide the best possible tax practices and valuable services to enable proper management of the fiscal domain of the mining sector. The creation of the mining unit will maximise quality, availability and performance resulting in improved customer service, service delivery, process efficiency and operational efficiency. The new unit will create capacity to undertake intensive and continuous business process improvement which will result in optimisation of revenue collection, effective control of tax avoidance and tax evasion and identification of areas of risk,” said Shivute.
Other changes to be undertaken during the current Medium Term Expenditure Framework include the introduction of environmental taxes through punitive taxation for environmentally damaging activities, Shivute said.
The other measures include the export levy bill by introducing an export levy on minerals, fish, game. “The crude oil and gas is currently in the clearance stage,” said Shivute.
Shivute said the draft amendment bill imposing Transfer Duty shares and members interest of companies and close corporations holding property and mineral licenses is being reviewed.
He said the increase in the VAT threshold and imposing criteria to qualify for VAT import account and voluntary VAT registration is in drafting stage.
The ministry is also reviewing existing trust legislation and making reporting of transactions mandatory as part of measures to counter tax avoidance schemes.
Shivute said the reform process is aimed at broadening the tax base, reduction of tax evasion, simplification of tax system, improvement of tax collection and fostering the culture of voluntary tax compliance.
He said these changes will replace the current tax system in use since 1998 with a modern, up to date version capable of improving system functionality and introduce modern system processes.
“The introduction of a modern IT system will allow for integration in tax administration to ensure improved compliance, enforcement and monitoring. Expanding and upgrading the use of technology will support the core functions of the objectives of the Ministry of Finance such as improved return on investment, improved collections, better service delivery and improved monitoring of business processes.
“Modernisation of the tax administration function will maximise quality, availability and performance of applications resulting in improved customer service, service delivery, process efficiency and operational efficiency,” Shivute said.
Commenting on the recent recruitment of tax experts from the private sector, Shivute said the move shows the serious commitment and importance attached to the tax reform programme.
“There is a need to ensure that relevant skills and expertise are acquired to meet the demand of modernising the Inland Revenue Department,” he said.
“The Export Levy Bill, the VAT Bill and Transfer Duty Bill are all in the drafting stage. The environmental levy will be imposed under the Customs and Excise Act,” he said.
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