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Tax collection getting hard for BURS

Tax collection getting hard for BURS
HEADED FOR HARD TIMES: BURS Commissioner General Ken Morris

But don’t panic, BURS Collected 1.85% more after budget was lowered Decline resulted from poor performance of the mining sector

Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) has registered low tax revenue of a difference of P2.154 billion from P37.489 billion to P35.335 billion for the period 2014-2015.

The decline is attributable to income tax which fell from P15.884 billion in 2014-2015 to P13.832 billion in 2015-2016 due to a decline in assessed tax resulting from poor performance of the mining sector.

Validating the findings, BURS General Manager Corporate Planning and Communications, Gaitsiwe Motsewabagale tells the Voice Money that the Value Added Tax (VAT) also contributed to the decrease by falling from P5.907 billion to P5.685 billion in the same period.

“This was due to significant reductions of penalties implying an increase in compliance. The refunds also affected collections going up by 9.67% compared to a decrease of 12.6% in the previous year,” explains Motsewabagale.

He further explains that the tax revenue target for 2015-2016 was set at P34. 694 billion compared to the 2014-2015 target of P35.78 due to the economic challenges faced during the 2015/16 financial year.

The previous target had been on the relatively good economic conditions that prevailed during that financial year.

Motsewabagale, however, notes that in spite of the unfavourable conditions during 2015-2016, the tax collector managed to exceed the target by 1.85%.

“The target is set through consultations between the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and BURS,” he explains, adding that the effect of the performance of BURS on the government budget is positive because BURS collected more than budgeted for as far as tax revenue is concerned.

He was responding to a question of how the lowered budget and collection affects the government coffers.