Mbabane: Tax compliance is bearing fruit for small businesses during these desperate times of need!
Government has come to the rescue of small and medium businesses that have been affected by the new coronavirus and will advance an amount to the tune of E90 million.
The good news was delivered by the Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini during a press conference at the Cabinet offices on April 15. He said it is evident that the pandemic is severely affecting businesses, particularly small enterprises, adding that despite this reality, government is committed to assist businesses to survive this partial lockdown. Clearly, said the PM, government does not have the financial muscle and enough resources to save businesses from collapse but they remain determined to meet these businesses halfway and minimize the adverse impact of the pandemic on the economy.
The PM said beneficiaries of the relief system are those businesses with a turnover of E8 million or less, mainly which are small and medium enterprises, adding that the businesses must have been tax compliant, on time, up to the 2019 tax year.
“This relief will be directed to businesses that have continually supported the development of the country by complying with their tax obligations, which means they have filed and paid their taxes on time up to the 2019 tax year,” said the PM. This amount will be paid by way of tax refunds through the Eswatini Revenue Authority in monthly instalments of 25% of the actual tax paid in 2019. The PM said specific guidelines on this relief will be provided through the Eswatini Revenue Authority.
According to the Eswatini Revenue Authority (SRA) statistics of unregistered SME sectors is alarming to say the least.
The Authority had seen that there were unregistered businesses to the tune of 44, 000 which equates to businesses that are not registered with SRA.
Lungile Mavuso, SRA Technical Tax Training Officer said the current situation where a lot of businesses are unregistered means SRA needs to invest a lot of resources and revenue into pushing businesses to adhering to SRA rules. She said if such would happen, money which should have gone to government for government business for Eswatini, is compromised. She added that the current objective of SRA moving into the new year, beginning in April, was to achieve 100% Voluntary Compliance for a better Eswatini.
Mavuso said the SRA Voluntary Compliance initiative did not involve only SRA but everyone in their capacity as tax payers. It is also talking to the government of Eswatini in terms of providing public goods for the nation. She added that everyone needs to look at the role of each one of the nationals in terms of taxation towards fulfilling the objective of SRA.