Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein recently announced that Government is now prepared to write off penalties and waive 80% of the interest in respect of outstanding taxes. He added that those who are indebted to the Government are being afforded amnesty, for the period February to July this year. Applications must be submitted to qualify for the reduction, after amounts owed have been determined by taxpayers.
Given the fact that taxpayers owe Government about N$19-billion, an amount of N$4-billion in terms of principal debt, while penalties and interest account for the remaining N$15-billion, Standard Bank views the recently announced tax reprieve as a welcome opportunity for taxpayers to get their tax records straightened out and the majority of their debts written off.
“As taxpayers we must now give out wholehearted support to Government in its endeavours, especially in view of the fact that our economy is facing liquidity constraints. We need to pay taxes to sustain the much needed infrastructure like hospitals, roads and schools in our country,” says Standard Bank’s Head of Private Banking, Britt du Plessis.
She added that in the light of our weakened economy, some companies are facing the need to retrench workers, as Government has discontinued some of its major capital projects. “This reprieve could help our country get back on its feet and now is the perfect time for taxpayers to set their record straight, but they have only six months to do so,” explained du Plessis.
She welcomed this commendable move by the Government, saying this is a window of opportunity for all taxpayers with outstanding debt to get into the tax net, in a meaningful way, ultimately helping Government to cater for the infrastructural development for the nation.
“Government is in fact making it possible and affordable for everyone to come clear. Non-payment of taxes also has an impact on pension pay-outs upon retirement. If there are unpaid taxes; taxes are settled first, before pensions are being paid out. So it is always for one’s own good to be in right standing; for your own sake and that of your family,” advised du Plessis.”
Standard Bank, in supporting this drive, encourages its private and business banking clients to seek financial assistance from the Bank to cover outstanding debt. “Our private and business banking clients will be happy to know that they are eligible for a RCP loan when seeking financing to pay their outstanding taxes (terms and conditions apply). So if you find yourself in need of cash flow, we are here to help you pay off your debt in a manageable way, over a certain period of time. This is our way of offering financial planning for our clients and assisting them in sorting out their tax situation,” concludes du Plessis.