BURS tax collection exceeds target

Baitshepi Sekgweng

2024/25 Financial year Target Set At P70.5 Billion

Botswana Unified Revenue Services(BURS) has performed beyond expectations collecting P59.6 billion in tax revenue for the 2023/24 financial year .

The figure, which is against the set target of P59.2 billion is the highest that the taxman has ever collected in history.

As of the 7th of March 2024, BURS was lagging behind in collection against the set target but ended up defying the odds to exceed the target.

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The bumper collection is from income tax, Value added tax (VAT) and customs and excise duties.

To achieve this, BURS had to go after individuals and businesses with outstanding arrears in order to reach the target.

Further, a strategy was devised to hunt those who are not tax compliant to register and file returns as per the procedure.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, BURS Commissioner General Jeanette Makgolo said the milestone was not a windfall but a result of hard work.

“We remained resolute that we will do all in our power to achieve the target by the end of the financial year. Some of the measures which we implored include robust debt recovery strategies such as boots on the ground operations in various regions, ensuring timely filing and following up on outstanding PAYE and VAT returns and targeted revenue generating audits, “said Makgolo declaring that their bold and deliberate rapid response revenue mobilisation strategy paid dividends.

Further, the fact that the 2023/24 financial year was plummeted by unfavourable macroeconomic conditions such as low diamond sales which made it hard to realise optimal revenue collection shows the significance of this milestone.

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“On the customs front we embarked on targeted post clearance audits, recoveries from outstanding deferred accounts debts, combating undervaluation, intensifying border inspections and utilizing of the pre-clearance facility in order to maximize collection on that side, “explained Makgolo.

Meanwhile, as the 2024/25 financial year kick-start, BURS’s target is P70.5 billion which is an increase of P11.4 billion as compared to the 2023/24 figure of P59.2 billion.

With the taxman’s intensified revenue collection efforts, the figure is expected to finance the 2024/25 budget with customs and excise receipts estimated at P26.46 billion due to an increase in Botswana’s share of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) revenues while non-mineral income tax and VAT are estimated at P22 billion and P15.24 billion respectively.

“We intend to implement several initiatives aimed at enhancing compliance which include amongst others the introduction of track and trace technology for excisable goods, transit monitoring system to prevent diversion and local dumping of transit declared goods and adoption of the electronic VAT billing system,” added Makgolo keeping emphasis that all this are aimed at eliminating leakages and maximising revenue collection. During the 2022/23 financial year, BURS managed to rake in P49.7 billion against a target of P47.5 billion.

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