NamRA integrity non-negotiable – Shivute

By Hilary Mare

NEWLY announced Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) commissioner, Sam Shivute has said that at the agency integrity and good ethics will be non-negotiable and a zero tolerance to corruption approach will be prioritised.

Shivute who was speaking shortly after his unveiling last week further emphasised that NamRA will serve in the best interest of all Namibians and it will carry out its mandate without fear or favour.

Shivute’s appointment was effective as of September 28.

“We are committed to building a credible and trusted institution which will carry out its mandate as guided by the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia, the taxation/customs and excise laws and the principles of taxation as propounded by Adam Smith in his classic book titled the Wealth of Nations,” Shivute said.

The ultimate objective of NamRA is to ensure improved revenue collection and efficient service delivery.

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“Given the challenging fiscal space in which we find ourselves as a country, I am convinced that NamRA will be part of the solution that will lead to Namibia achieving her financial sovereignty. Financial sovereignty is a prerequisite for an effective State.

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In order to achieve financial sovereignty, NamRA has to ensure that we broaden the tax base through intensive taxpayers education, improve voluntary tax compliance, drive tax morality, ensure efficient administration of tax laws including trade facilitation and ensure maximum revenue collection for the State.

“NamRA will ensure that everyone, and I mean everyone pay their fair share of taxes.

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Base erosion and profit shifting cases, with special focuses on transfer pricing will receive special attention like it has never happened before,” extended Shivute.

From 2013 to 2014 Shivute was seconded to the Receiver of Revenue as an Acting Commissioner for a period of no less than 18 months. A lawyer and qualified detective with several accredited management development training, he served as a director of banking services at the Bank of Namibia since 2012 on the back of his previous work experience at the Central Bank and the security sector.

NamRA will constitute a transformation of the current Department of Inland Revenue (IRD) and the Directorate of Customs and Excise into a new semi-autonomous revenue agency, outside the public service.

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“Before day one of NamRA, which will be determined and announced to the public in advance, the NamRA Act (Act No.

12 of 2017) will not be in force and NamRA as an institution does not yet exist. Until such a date, tax and customs and excise functions and the day-to-day operations will continue to be provided by the Department of Inland Revenue and the Directorate of Customs and Excise under the Ministry of Finance as it has been the case. As such, during the transitional period, the NamRA Commissioner will not have tax administration powers. Such powers will continue to be vested in the Commissioner of Revenue and Commissioner of Customs and Excise.

“The NamRA Commissioner, assisted by the NamRA task team and under the supervision of the board, will be preoccupied with the preparatory activities for NamRA institutional readiness,” Finance Minister, Iipumbu Shiimi said.