Ezulwini-The Eswatini Revenue Services (ERS) has undertaken to extend its debt relief programme for another month. This was announced by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Sizakele Dlamini at the ERS Headquarters in Ezulwini.
The debt relief programme was launched in May 2022 as an attempt by the government of Eswatini to allow taxpayers with outstanding tax liabilities to pay the principal debt or make a payment arrangement to liquidate the principal debt. One of its main objectives was to write off E3 billion in tax penalties and interests owed by businesses and parastatals in the country. Dlamini said the debt relief programme will also provide relief following the last two years of trying and difficult times as a result of COVID 19. It was scheduled to run for three months.
Among the members of the business fraternity that were there was the Vice Principal of Swaziland Commercial Amadoda, Albert Mbuyise who expressed his appreciation at the development and mentioned that ERS was demonstrating the extent at which it was of help to Emaswati.
Henry ‘Tums‘ du Pont of the Federation of Eswatini Business Community (FESBC) also expressed his appreciation at the extension and mentioned that it has been a very tough time for the business community. He stated that “historically the business community has been sceptical of the ERS but by providing debt relief, the ERS has shown that they are willing to meet the business community halfway. This has shown that there is a spirit and the desire to keep the Emaswati businesses open.”
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Business Eswatini, Nathi Dlamini said “I am very excited and filled with gratitude about this development. During the Tax Indaba there are certain things that were requested by the business community and these were that firstly, the tax relief be extended. Secondly, that Capital Gains Text be suspended, that the World-Wide tax been exempted and that the middle class should not be over taxed because they keep the economy going. Of all these requests that of the debt relief programme has been answered.”
Nathi Dlamini went on to note that “at the moment ERS is saying “lets find a way of settling our debts and be tax compliant. We do not want the ERS to terrorise us. So today the ERS has raised the olive branch and it is now up to the business community to play its part.”
The Commissioner General of the ERS, Brightwell Nkambule pointed out that “the support that we have received from our stakeholders has given us courage to continue with this programme. One of the requisites for debt relief is that the debtor places a 20% deposit and then pays the balance over 12 months. Alternatively, they can come forward and negotiate their tax debt.”
Nkambule explained that it is also possible to manage the tax’s online through the ERS website.