Lifestyle audits already underway, says Namra boss

Despite not being reported on, the commissioner says audits are carried out regularly.

13 April 2021 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGE







WINDHOEK

The newly appointed commissioner of the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRa), Sam Shivute, says government has been able to successfully conduct tax audits which have resulted in millions being paid to the State.

He made the comments while appearing on Namibian Sun’s Evening Review programme following the launch of his agency last week. The agency’s operationalisation now clears government of the responsibility of collecting taxes, mimicking similar agencies such as the Botswana Unified Revenue Service and the South African Revenue Services.

Confidentiality

“In a taxation space, we are guided by the issue of confidentially. Lifestyle tax audits have been happening and it is happening, and it’s not only going to start with NamRa. The only thing is that, even Inland Revenue directorate has been doing is that – it’s only you and them that will know,” Shivute said.

“It did not start even yesterday or a day before yesterday. In Namibia, with the introduction of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), every time they pick up these are the movements in your account, then the FIC will report to the tax office. I am aware lifestyle audits have been happening,” Shivute added.

It was not in the nature of tax authorities to report the scope or nature of tax audits, he said.

New normal

According to Shivute, NamRa marked the start of a new normal as far as tax collection is concerned.

“Sometimes you may not hear this news, with NamRa it’s not going to be business as usual,” Shivute said.

The directorate of Inland Revenue was aware of people who may appear to live beyond their means while not paying their fair share of taxes, a matter he said NamRa would not relent on.

“There are people we know [of], and we have access to the information. If the tax man starts with you, they don’t publicise, it does not happen in taxation. The principle of confidentially is there unless specific individual is disputing and this ends of up in court,” he said.

“It doesn’t make sense; you’re driving this expensive car. The good thing with our system is how much do you declare, how much do you pay, does it correspond with how much you pay?” Shivute said.

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