The Income Tax Act was amended in December 2011 to introduce tax on amounts received for the alienation of a right or license to explore, mine or retrieve natural resources in Namibia. This is irrespective of where the transaction is concluded or where the payment is made.

A specific inclusion in gross income was enacted in section 1, paragraph (o) with the Income Tax Amendments of 30 December 2011.

The Amendments are effective in the case of any taxpayer which is a company, at the commencement of the financial year of a company commencing on or after 1 January 2012.

It specifically includes amounts that meet the following criteria from the definition in gross income:

  • any amount received/accrued (OR the open market value which ever is higher) from another person;
  • as consideration ;
  • for the sale, donation or other alienation or transfer of ownership of a Namibian mineral licence/right ;
  • and includes the sale of shares in a company for a Namibian mineral licence/right.

In terms of the Mining and Prospecting Act amineral licence means a reconnaissance licence, an exclusive prospecting licence (EPL), a mining licence or a mineral deposit retention licence and includes the renewal of licences. Therefore the income from the disposal of mining rights OR the shares in a company which holds mining rights will be taxable in Namibia. Previously such income was generally considered capital in nature and specifically excluded from gross income.

It is important to note that the full purchase amount is included in taxable income under this section. The Income Tax Act was not amended to provide a deduction for capital costs incurred in respect of such licenses.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.