NAMIBIANS in the red with their tax payments will be given a chance at a clean-slate as the Ministry of Finance is introducing an incentive programme which will see the waiving of penalties charged on tax accounts if citizens update their tax payments through the newly launched Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) online portal.
Speaking at a press conference today, finance minister Calle Schlettwein stated that this incentive will encourage taxpayers not only to register as e-filers but also to continually use the online service.
The ITAS became operational in January this year. The overall objective of ITAS is to improve service delivery to taxpayers.
The system provides many online benefits such as 24/7 real time access to a taxpayer tax account, a taxpayer self-service facility, online filing of tax returns, single view of taxpayer’s account and accelerated processing of tax forms with real-time notification on outcome.
Schlettwein stated that the ministry’s aim is to reach a target of 90% of the taxpayer population to register as e-filers by June 2020, as well as see a shift from manual interaction between Inland Revenue Department and taxpayers to a continuous use of the online platform.
The minister stated that reaching this target is necessary because the ministry may in future require taxpayers to file all tax returns electronically without an option of manual filing.
The incentive programme covers the period since the launch of ITAS and is ending on 30 June 2020.
In order to qualify for this incentive, a taxpayer must register on ITAS portal as an e-filer; and update through online submission all tax accounts for all tax type in respect of tax returns that might be outstanding.
Once the taxpayer has fulfilled the above conditions, penalties charged on any of the tax account will automatically be waived. That means that the taxpayer does not need to make any form of application to have the penalties waived.
Taxpayers who have already registered as e-filers since the launch of ITAS also benefit from this incentive. Penalties for those without outstanding returns will be waived automatically, while those with outstanding returns must first electronically file them in order to qualify for the penalty waiver.