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BURS aim to collect P43 billion in taxes

BURS aim to collect P43 billion in taxes

Levy on second-hand imported cars yet to be implemented

Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) aims to collect P43 billion in taxes during the current financial year.

This was revealed by BURS Commissioner General, Segolo Lekau during a media engagement this week.

This follows adjustment of taxes such as the Value Added Tax (VAT) which was increased by 2 percent from 12 percent to 14 percent at the beginning of last month as well as the introduction of other taxes such as the one on sweetened beverages and many other levies.

According to Lekau, there has been an upward trajectory in terms of tax collections in the last few years.

“Before Covid-19 we were supposed to collect P43 billion, so we had to revise our target to P37 billion, but by the close of the year in March we had collected P39.5 billion,” said Lekau, stressing the tax-collecting agency exceeded its target by P2 billion.

This was an increase from P38.3 billion collected during the 2018/2019 financial year, but lower than a record P40.5 billion collected in the prior year.

Buoyed by the recent performance amid the pandemic, Lekau said the target has since been raised to P43 billion again.

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Having set the ambitious target, Lekau encouraged taxpayers to pay their dues to the taxman.

Lekau emphasized that the country’s average tax collection to GDP has been between 20 – 22 percent, which he said compares favorably well with other Southern African countries, which is an indicator that tax revenue is the main driver of the economy.

“However, this indicator could change for the better if the right information is delivered to the public, taxpayers, and potential taxpayers, through the right channels and timely,” said Lekau.

The BURS Commissioner-General pointed out that the tax collection is the reflection of the performance of the economy, and having experienced some upward trajectory over the years in terms of collection, it is an indication that the local economy is not doing badly.

While the government has recently effected several tax changes such as VAT and others, Lekau revealed the levy on imported second-hand vehicles was yet to take off.

“We are still waiting for statutory instruments as the government is still working on modalities of imposing the levy,” said Lekau.

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