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Processing refund claims halted for individual provisional taxpayers- Revenue Agency rocked by scam

Processing refund claims halted for individual provisional taxpayers- Revenue Agency rocked by scam

The Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) has halted the processing of tax refund claims for individual provisional taxpayers with immediate effect until 30 June, amid a potential scam that has surfaced, an executive said Thursday.

“NamRA has detected a scam related to tax refund claims submitted by individual provisional taxpayers. The fraud investigation has commenced and significant progress and discoveries have been made,” NamRA Commissioner, Sam Shivute in a statement said.

According to Shivute, the observed trend is that several individual taxpayers’ profiles are changed (mostly with the assistance of taxpayer representatives and/or bookkeepers) to provisional taxpayers’ status, which is associated with taxpayers earning income from sources additional to their employment, such as farming. Subsequently, revised returns would be submitted with inflated expenses, which then result in tax refunds becoming due to the affected taxpayer.

“The preliminary indications are that several role-players are involved and although possibly premature, we cannot rule out the active participation of our staff in this scam,” he said.

“Subsequently, revised returns would be submitted with inflated expenses, which then result in tax refunds becoming due to the affected taxpayer,” he said, adding that tax refund claims worth N$15 million appears to be linked to this scam.

Shivute said NamRA has already opened criminal cases against identified suspects, while the administrative violations will also be pursued in line with the applicable statutes to determine the full extent of this scam and its real impact on the public purse.

Meanwhile, Shivute said tax refund claims in respect of other tax types such as individual taxpayers and Value Added Tax shall not be affected by this moratorium.


 

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