The Namibia Revenue Agency (NAmRA), has fumed at a report in which it has been accused of seeking to bring down Quinton van Rooyen’s Trustco, but rather held back on responding to the report fully saying the matter is before court.
The tax collector is on Van Rooyen’s throat over arrears worth about N$306 million in tax which Trustco is said to be in denial of.
This week, reports surfaced that NAmRA has pushed to have 42 entities that are linked to Trustco frozen via an order of the High Court, putting more pressure on the serial business man who is fighting to save Trustco Bank of Namibia from falling apart.
But Van Rooyen has hit back at the tax collector accusing it of seeking for the downfall of a part of his business empire.
“It is unfortunate that NamRA abandoned the consultative relationship in this abrupt manner by seemingly acting in cahoots with the BoN to undermine Trustco. By proceeding in this manner, NamRA has now laid bare the root cause of the continuous public complaints and outcries about the unjust, poor and substandard tax collection, allocation and refunds in Namibia,” he is quoted as saying.
The utterances have seemingly irked NamRa to the point of issuing a statement which ended up being a blank shot in the direction of Trustco, however, the taxman has suggested that a full response will unbundle itself in court.
“The matter is before the High Court of Namibia at the instance of Trustco for determination, making it sub judice and thereby limiting the extent of NamRa’s response to several damning allegations levelled against it.”
“Tempting as it is, NamRa declines the rather unusual invitation to what appears to be a public spat in respect of a matter that a party has referred to court for adjudication,” said the tax collector.
NamRa went on to say that it can only state that their intention to oppose the matter has been entered and all “unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegations will be refuted in due course”.
“We must stress that NamRa will continue to be guided by the applicable statutory framework in its engagement with tax payers, without malice of ill-intent,” said the agency.
It also said that during stakeholder engagement across the country in the past months, they indicated the need for enhanced compliance and enforcement as guided by the NamRa Compliance and Enforcement Strategy.
NamRa commissioner, Sam Shivute, vowed that he would go after tax dodgers without fear and favour, at the start of his coming to the helm of the tax collecting agency.
He has also ruffled feathers with politicians over a decision to burn millions of counterfeit goods, prompting a mass demonstration which he received with a stoic face.
However, business tycoon, Van Rooyen,has expressed unhappiness with and cited in court papers the Banking Institutions Act, the Bank of Namibia Act, the Income Tax Act, the Value-Added Tax Act, the Namibia Revenue Agency Act, the Namibia National Reinsurance Corporation Act, the Diamond Act, the Marine Resources Act and the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia Act.
He also went on record, in court, to say, “These pieces of legislation have certain common features, namely that [they] firstly provide administrators of the Acts and ministers with unfettered powers, without parliamentary oversight, and secondly, in many cases, [that they] created parallel structures to skim revenue and cash to a handful of beneficiaries. These beneficiaries roam the corridors of high offices in Namibia.”
In the meantime, as Van Rooyen battles the tax collector at the Bank of Namibia which has aimed for the liquidation of his bank, he has also been bruised by a decision to have his company taken off the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).