Ezulwini-The Eswatini Revenue Services (ERS) has launched a new brand. Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Finance, Neal Rijkenberg said “those who still have difficulties to honour their tax obligations, this new brand we are launching today is meant to encourage them to come forward and contribute as we work to develop the only country we have to a better place.”
“As a Ministry and the ERS, we made a promise that the new revenue administration will change from being authoritative to one that will be service oriented. The same has been promised by the Acting Commissioner General and the Governing Board Chairman.
“Over the past years we have noted with concern the reality that the ERS has not met the revenue targets as set by the Government; like you would know by now the revenue target that has been set by the Government in the year 2022-23 stands at around 12.3 billion Emalangeni.”
“What we have noted over the years is a continued increase in tax debt. The ERS has informed me that the total debt stock as at the end of February 2021/22 stood at E9.172 billion and has been on a significant upward trend for the past three years, from a total debt stock of 5.326 billion in 2019/20. Further, the debt-to-revenue ratio has increased from 53.5% to 84.9% in the same period.”
Rijkenberg mentioned that the recent increase in the tax debt has been compounded by the advent of COVID19 which emerged in the country in the year 2020. In March 2020, as a Ministry we initiated a debt relief programme to ease the pressure on taxpayers that came about as a result of the pandemic.