Namibia not a tax haven – Schlettwein

07 December 2017 | Government

Minister of finance Calle Schlettwein has rejected claims made by the European Union that Namibia is a tax haven.

The European Union (EU) this week published a list of tax havens which included Bermuda, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius and Namibia.

An Oxfam paper released in 2015 defines tax havens as mediums through which corporations can cheat countries out of tax income. According to an article that appeared in the British newspaper The Guardian this week, Namibia and 16 other countries were grouped together and labelled as tax havens.

“The EU said the countries failed to match up to international standards and had not offered sufficient commitments that they would change their ways during talks in the months leading up to publication of the list,” The Guardian wrote. Part of the reason for Namibia's presence on the EU blacklist has to do with failing to meet a deadline to implement proposed actions on how the local tax system could be strengthened to be on par with EU standards.

Tax officials from the ministry of finance and the EU embassy had met to discuss the criteria. Schlettwein said because questions asked by the ministry of finance were not satisfactorily answered both parties felt the need to extend the EU deadline.

“Due to miscommunication we missed that deadline but that does not make Namibia a non-compliant country or tax haven,” Schlettwein said.

“We are perplexed to learn that the European Union has revealed the names of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes which include Namibia,” he said.



Schlettwein added that the Bank of Namibia was always aware of money coming into the country and leaving it.



EU tax expert Bill Fraser, who was seconded to the ministry of finance to help ensure that Namibia's tax regime complied with EU standards, was just as surprised to hear about the blacklisting.



Tax expert Cameron Kotze was also taken aback by the move.



“A client of mine was surprised that Namibia was on the blacklist. To classify Namibia as a tax haven is completely incorrect. I really do not believe that Namibia is a tax haven,” Kotze said.



Schlettwein called the move to blacklist Namibia partisan, discriminatory, prejudiced and unjust.



“We believe that we have not been treated equally and call upon the EU to correct what has already caused serious harm to Namibia's outstanding reputation as a politically stable democracy with rule of law based institutions,” he said.



Schlettwein said meetings would be held with EU representatives to try and correct the perception that Namibia was a tax haven.



“We will find out from the EU mission here what can be done. We have arranged for a meeting with the EU ambassador. We will raise the issue at the diplomatic level to make sure our relationship will not be jeopardised,” Schlettwein said.

OGONE TLHAGE

Similar News

 

'Arrogant' Utoni under fire

1 day - 19 October 2018 | Government

Land reform minister Utoni Nujoma has been described as crude, dismissive and arrogant when it comes to dealing with the media.These were the sentiments of...

New twist in Kahimise study loan drama

3 days ago - 17 October 2018 | Government

A study loan that forms the basis of an alleged politically motivated attempt to suspend Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise was approved by the human resources...

More NDF promotion 'cooking' exposed

4 days ago - 16 October 2018 | Government

Swirling allegations of illegal promotions in the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) have deepened, with sources revealing that a cook was promoted to staff sergeant, and...

ACC ponders Namcor probe

4 days ago - 16 October 2018 | Government

TheAnti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is considering whether to launch its own investigation into a damning Namcor forensic report.The forensic investigation carried out by auditing firm Deloitte...

Namibia flip-flops on ICC

4 days ago - 16 October 2018 | Government

International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says withdrawing or staying in the International Criminal Court (ICC) is not on Namibia's mind at this point.She said yesterday...

NDF promotions 'corrupt'

1 week ago - 12 October 2018 | Government

The Namibian Defence Force (NDF) is allegedly paying hordes of soldiers holding the same position in the staff structure, and who are shadowing those legitimately...

Kahimise in midst of City squabble

1 week ago - 12 October 2018 | Government

An alleged recommendation to suspend City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise is strongly opposed by three city councillors, who claim he is facing persecution from...

Ancestral land commission gains traction

1 week ago - 11 October 2018 | Government

OGONE TLHAGEA commission to deal with the contentious issue of ancestral land claims and restitution is expected to be set up swiftly, after President Hage...

Geingob challenges Trump

3 weeks ago - 27 September 2018 | Government

President Hage Geingob says the world cannot rest until the United States, and by implication its head of state Donald Trump, lifts “the decades-old, outdated,...

Defence hits back at AG audit

3 weeks ago - 27 September 2018 | Government

The defence ministry is disputing the findings of the auditor-general's latest report on its financial affairs, saying it is riddled with errors.The audit report, which...

Latest News

Nail errant nurses - Haufiku

1 day - 19 October 2018 | Health

Health ministry permanent secretary Ben Nangombe has issued a directive that no nurses may use their cellphones while on duty, and that no health facilities...

No peace for Cheryl's family

1 day - 19 October 2018 | Crime

The police are still working around the clock to catch the killer, or killers, of nine-year-old Cheryl Avihe Ujaha although there has been a lack...

Recruiting the best staff

1 day - 19 October 2018 | Supplements

Below are some tips for employers on how to go about this often arduous task.Improve your candidate poolCompanies that select new employees from the candidates...

Taking Namfisa to new and...

1 day - 19 October 2018 | Supplements

Octavia Tsibes As the deputy CEO of prudential supervision at the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa), Erna Motinga is responsible for strengthening its supervisory...

Our dismal public healthcare

1 day - 19 October 2018 | Columns

There appears to be no end in sight to the many and deep-seated problems at the heart of Namibia's public healthcare sector. It goes without...

A vivacious young woman

1 day - 19 October 2018 | Supplements

Born and raised in a small village called Kayira-yira, situated eight kilometres west of Rundu, Zonia worked very hard throughout her school years and moved...

Improving sustainability through change

1 day - 19 October 2018 | Supplements

Justicia Shipena Her key role is to help Namport deliver sustainable performance improvement by utilising people. Futher focusing on how change can influence, which includes...

Airport downgrade a major threat

1 day - 19 October 2018 | Transport

Analysts believe that if Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) is downgraded by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), it would lead to massive job losses,...

'Arrogant' Utoni under fire

1 day - 19 October 2018 | Government

Land reform minister Utoni Nujoma has been described as crude, dismissive and arrogant when it comes to dealing with the media.These were the sentiments of...

Load More