A northern general practitioner has approached the court to order the State return money that was seized from his account for alleged tax evasion to the tune of N$37.9 million with the amount expected to increase.
The State through the Commissioner of Inland Revenue confiscated N$21 million from Dr Livingstone David Mugimu’s business and personal accounts for having under-declared his income.
According to Mugimu’s affidavit he has complied with Namibian laws, in particular the Tax Return Act since he started working in Namibia in 1991. Mugimu stated that his business is suffering as now he has no money.
The State confiscated Mugimu’s money after the Ministry of Finance and Commissioner of Inland Revenue discovered through assessments that there were discrepancies in Mugimu’s tax returns.
It is alleged Mugimu under-declared his annual income for the period 2014-2016. According to documents filed in the high court on Friday the amounts paid to the doctor from PSEMAS and other medical aid funds compared to the amounts declared in his self-assessment returns showed a huge difference for all the years that were revised. It showed that the amounts paid to Mugimu were more than what he declared in the self-assessment.
“The applicant has violated the Income Tax Act and has been under-declaring his annual income for tax purposes,” noted Matias Kashindi for the Ministry of Finance and Commissioner of Inland Revenue. Further stating that it is a criminal offence for taxpayers to falsify information or misrepresent facts about their annual income for tax purposes and it is punishable by law.
It is alleged that after the assessments were done the Ministry of Finance and Commissioner of Inland Revenue notified Mugimu that an audit will be done and he then started withdrawing huge sums of money from his accounts via electronic means and through ATMs.
An amount of N$28 million has been withdrawn to date locally this year with N$1.2 million withdrawn from Uganda.
He allegedly withdrew all the money with the knowledge that he has not yet complied with his tax liability.
The State asked the court to not rule in his favour as there is a high chance of him continuing to evade tax and he may leave the country with all the money including that which rightfully belongs to and is owed to the government in tax debt, and if the relief is granted moreover the assessment process has not yet been finalised and the amount is expected to increase.
“The applicant should not fear the auditing if he has nothing to hide, because if no irregularities have been detected his money will be returned to him,” stated Kashindi