COVID-19 Pandemic: SSC Economic Stimulus Package Announced
Tax Alert 4/2020 - Namibia
On the back of the first phase economic stimulus package announced by the Minister of Finance on 1 April 2020, the Social Security Commission of Namibia (“SSC”) also announced details of a social security relief package. The announcement was made on 8 April 2020.
SSC Economic Stimulus Package
The SSC also announced an income grant of N$ 1 000 over a three month period to various categories of persons. It is not clear how the grant will be administered, but it would appear if it is a separate initiative from the grant announced by the Ministry of Finance. We will communicate any further developments and details as we become aware of them.
Employers and employees registered with SSC will receive a contribution waiver for a period of three months. This initiative will amount to N$142 million.
This means that all employers registered with the SSC would not need to withhold social security contributions from employees for a three-month period and would not need to remit its contributions for the same period. What is not clear is when the three-month period will commence. We will provide more details as they are published.
Salary Protection Subsidy
The sectors severely impacted will receive a salary protection subsidy of up to 50% over a period of three months limited to N$ 150 million. It is not clear on what the 50% will be based. The level of subsidy will vary from industry to industry, business to business and employee to employee in line with the severity of the impact. No further details were provided at this point and we will provide an update when details are made available.
SME and domestic workers
SME Operators, their employees and domestic workers (we assumed that are registered with SSC) will receive a fixed grant of N$3,000 per individual for three months (N$1,000 p/m). The cost amounts to N$ 32 million – benefiting around 12,000 participants. The practicalities of how the grant will be paid out were not provided as this point.
Men on the Side of the Road
Extension has been granted from 31 March 2020 to 30 May 2020 for the submission of PAYE5 reconciliations for taxpayers. No other extension has been given in respect of other tax returns and taxpayers are expected to submit all other returns in accordance with the statutory due dates.
Administration and Post COVID-19 initiatives
SSC will implement the relief package as soon as possible given its administrative capacity such as systems, coverage across country and human resources. There will be independent verification of the data, implementation and participants to avoid abuse of the relief program.
Consideration is also given to assist the homeless and consultation with regional offices will be conducted to assist SSC with intervention programs. Furthermore, the SSC announced that Post COVID-19 initiatives will be put in place to assist SME’s with grants and re-training in collaboration with the Namibian Training Authority. No further details were provided at this point.