VAT refunds plodding along

28 April 2020 | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – Of the N$3 billion in VAT refunds finance minister Iipumbu Shimmi promised to pump into the economy to mitigate the onslaught of Covid-19, less than N$231.1 million has been settled so far.

When he launched the first phase of the economic stimulus and relief package on 1 April, Shiimi assured the private sector that overdue and undisputed refunds of value-added tax (VAT) would be “accelerated”.

“Government will immediately speed up such repayments to enhance the cash flow of enterprises paying VAT,” Shiimi said.

“The total amount of the refunds to be settled within one week of the implementation of these measures stands at about N$3.0 billion,” he added.

The chief public relations officer at the ministry of finance, Tonateni Shidhudhu, yesterday told Market Watch VAT refunds paid since 9 April total about N$231.05 million.

According to Shidhudhu, nearly N$102.1 million worth of VAT refunds are currently being processed and “waiting for approval for payment to taxpayers at the end of the week”.

‘Working around the clock’

“We have been working around the clock to process more claims to ensure that businesses do not experience serious cash flow problems during this time,” he said.

Shidhudhu added: “In terms of what is still outstanding, the process runs up to the end of April and the final reconciliation amount can only be shared with the public next month.”

At the launch of the current stimulus package of N$8.1 billion in total, Shiimi also said the payment of overdue and undisputed invoices for goods and services provided to government would be accelerated.

“Government will immediately speed up such payments to boost the cash flow of enterprises that are suppliers to the government. This amount stands at about N$800.00 million,” Shiimi said at the time.

No official feedback on the progress of these payments have been received yet.

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