New tax unit established to broaden Namibia’s domestic revenue sources

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises has established a Tax Policy Unit as part of the government’s ongoing effort to minimise reliance on revenue from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

Finance minister, Iipumbu Shiimi, said this in Parliament on Tuesday.

“From a tax policy design perspective, the government is continuously working on improving our tax competitiveness regionally and seeking avenues to utilise the tax system to promote economic growth.

“In this regard, the unit has been undertaking a comprehensive and holistic review of our tax regime, identifying gaps and benchmarking against other countries, as well as best international practices in taxation,” Shiimi said in his mid-year budget review policy statement for the 2023–24 financial year.

The minister added that in the area of tax policy and administration reforms, “we are keenly aware of the importance of domestic revenue mobilisation in anchoring our medium-term macro-policy framework.

“This has become even more important in the face of relatively weakening economic prospects in the region and the potential threat to expected revenue from the SACU customs pool. In this regard, we need to redouble our efforts to minimise reliance on these highly volatile revenue sources.”

According to Shiimi, the Tax Policy Unit in the Department of Economic Policy has developed a catalogue of potential areas of reform to be implemented over the medium term.

In this regard, he said the unit will undertake comprehensive stakeholder engagements on the proposed tax proposals in the coming months before we make public pronouncements.

He added that the unit has also made advances in preparations to renegotiate Namibia’s Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) with the rest of the world to optimise benefits for the country.

“In this regard, the team has received the necessary training, which culminated in updating our policies and models to align with international best practices and recent developments. Accordingly, a schedule of DTAs to be renegotiated has been developed in accordance with our trade profile. The schedule will be presented to Cabinet for approval in due course,” Shiimi explained.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency