The recently released Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) annual report for the year ended 31 March, 2017 reveals that the tax collection agency managed to collect P35.8 billion in tax revenue ÔÇô exceeding their initial target of P34.8 billion by a total of P1billion. Furthermore, the report suggests that total tax collected surpassed the target mainly because of “the strong performance of income tax and VAT”.
Generally, tax revenues as a percentage of GDP have been lingering around an average of 25%, meaning that collections are roughly following the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Income tax revenue collection for the year is derived from different sources such as Assessed tax and deducted tax. The report states that income tax collected exceeded the initial target by P2billion. BURS collected P17.7 billion in income tax for the year against a set target of P15.7 billion.
Import VAT and Internal VAT were relatively constant as compared to figures from last year and the report states that they managed to collect VAT of P6.3 billion. This means this was P1.2 billion less than the initial target of P7.5 billion.
As for the arrears which increased by P500million during 2016-2017, BURS commissioner general Ken Morris said whilst they fell short of their target to reduce arrears, they will persist in their attempts to ease the arrears in the next financial year. He also revealed that the rise in debt is blamed on “interest and penalties, which account for 66% of the arrears”.