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BMC exempted from tax

Publishing Date : 09 August, 2015


Parliament has passed the Income Tax amendment bill which will exempt Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) and other wholly owned government owned corporations.

Presenting the bill before parliament, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo said the amended was necessitated by concerns raised that there was a need to simplify laws relating to taxation policy as well as tax administration.

The intention of the amendment is to exempt BMC from taxation; however it also introduces a 4 percent tax on every livestock sold to any person, who is business; who buys cattle for slaughter or for feeding for slaughter.

The amended Act states that the income from sales of cattle to the BMC will be taxed like any other income in the hands of the recipients of such income and BMC will facilitate this by withholding tax whenever the BMC makes payments for the purchase of livestock.

The Act adds amounts paid for purchase of livestock to amounts that are subjected to withholding tax.

The Act also gives the Commissioner General the authority to make payments for refunds of over-paid income tax including interest. Refunds for income tax will be now processed by BURS without having to make a claim from the Consolidated Fund.

The Act further empowers the Commissioner General to apply any refund payable to any taxpayer towards the reduction of any tax, levy, interest or penalty payable by the taxpayer under any revenue law administered by Commissioner General.  

Part of the Act, hotly contested by the opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) is where the expenditure incurred in making donations to Government such health facilities and other eligible donations to qualify as deductible expenditure.

The Act further state that deductions for provision of health facilities would be allowed if such donations are recommended by the Ministry of Health. “Equally, other donations will need to be prescribed by the Minister responsible for finance upon recommendations by the relevant sectoral ministries,” explained Matambo.

The Act make a threshold that in each case, donations eligible for deductions should not be less than P1000 in value and should not exceed 20 percent of the aggregate chargeable income of the person making such a donation.

Opposition MPs opposed the part of the act as they were of the view that the act creates more problems than solutions. Dr Tlamelo Mmatli said the decision to exempt BMC from paying tax and introduction 4 percent taxation on farmers was unjustified. He contended that it was simply transferring the burden from BMC to the farmers. Mmatli’s position was shared by his colleagues in opposition bench.



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