Figures from the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) have shown that Botswana’s taxation register has grown from 44,359 taxpayers to 312,447 taxpayers, which is an increase of 604 percent in the last ten years.
BURS Commissioner, General Ken Morris, said late last week that in the 10 years that BURS has been in existence, the tax collecting agency has made considerable progressive strides in so far as carrying out the mandate for which it was established.
Supporting his sentiments with data, Morris pointed out that the proportion of tax revenues contributed by BURS to the total revenue budget has averaged around 70 percent during the 10 year period under review.
The figures also shows that BURS’s revenue performance grew by 166 percent from P11.8 billion in 2004/2005 to P31.4 billion in 20013/14 while cumulative revenue collection is in excess of P190 billion.
At some point, while being led by Freddie Modise, BURS engaged debt collectors to deal with about 387 cases of tax defaulters.
Two years down the line the Government also approved some of the amendments to the income tax act, including the change from a two tier system to a single tier tax system.
Meanwhile when briefing the media on the upcoming 10 year anniversary celebrations slated for this month, Morris said that BURS is currently implementing strategic plans through which it is intending to continuously strive to mobilise the Tax Revenue.
Morris indicated that the revenue is needed for implementing the national developmental agenda and to create a conducive an environment that encourages voluntary compliance by taxpayers in the country’s tax system.
“The 10th Year Anniversary is a significant moment in the evolution of BURS and it gives the organisation the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate past achievements and also share them with its stakeholders and customers ,” Morris said.
BURS was established through the BURS Act 2003 (No. 17 of 2004) and are responsible for the assessment and collection of taxes in Botswana on behalf of the Government and the management of border posts and other points of entry.