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Dealing with tax disputes

Max Lucade once said “Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional”. Just like in any relationship whether romantic, friendship or industrial related, taxpayers and tax authorities often get into disputes.

Most of the tax disputes are as a result of differing opinions on the tax treatment of some items especially whether they should be allowable (or deductible) or not and there are cases where the disputes arise because of alleged wrong doing by taxpayers such as fraud and evasion. Disputes can be minimized through various means, among those are the use of rulings from the tax authority, though there is no legislation on rulings currently taxpayers can approach Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) Technical Division to get their views on transactions the business is about to undertake to provide their technical understanding and administrative procedure.

This will be helpful to both the taxpayer and BURS as it may avoid incurring additional costs such as legal fees, additional tax liabilities and other resources that can be channeled towards other business ventures or revenue collection exercise. But most importantly taxpayers should ensure that whatever they are supposed to pay or file is done on time to avoid unnecessary tax liabilities and avoid any wrong doing on their side.

Risk management departments of taxpayers should include managing tax risks especially in the rising demands for revenue collection and for high net worth individuals they should also ensure they have tax risk management policies in place as a preventative measure for tax disputes. The recently introduced Transfer Pricing legislation has a provision for Advanced Pricing Agreements (APAs) which is a mechanism that allows taxpayers to enter into agreement on Transfer Pricing methods to be used by the taxpayer.

This mechanism reduces chances of TP disputes arising because of disagreements in the applicable Transfer Pricing methods and saves costs such as legal costs and additional tax liabilities. Despite having done the above to avoid disputes with BURS, they may still issue additional tax assessments especially where there are no agreements or rulings in place. Where the taxpayer does not agree to this assessment they are allowed to object to the amount raised by BURS.

It is during this stage that both the taxpayer and BURS can get into negotiations for a win-win outcome arising out of the dispute if they do not want to go to the next stage which is appealing to the board of adjudicators. Just like in APAs negotiations help in reducing additional costs to the business. Though it is not available as a legal provision it is a tool used by tax authorities worldwide to settle disputes. In countries that have Tax Administration Acts (TAA), issues such as negotiations and rulings are covered in that Act.

Former Minister of Finance has previously hinted that Botswana will soon have a TAA and its being drafted. This will bring efficiency for both taxpayers and BURS in terms of dispute resolution and other administrative aspects. It is important that the drafting of objections involve tax professionals for accurate technical interpretation of applicable laws and application of their experience including case law for the objections to be effective. Where negotiations do not work the next stage is appealing to the Board of Adjudicators (BoA) which is more of a tribunal. Where the decisions that are taken by the BoA are still not satisfactory taxpayers can appeal to the High Court up until the Court of Appeal. It is also advisable to include tax professionals at this stage to make the arguments strong and efficient.

The combination of tax and legal experts will ensure client have both aspects that are critical in tax cases; strong technical application and legal arguments. In conclusion let’s all be like that wise man who said “Conflict is neither good nor bad. Properly managed, it is absolutely vital”, let’s manage those before they cause us more problems.

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LETTER TO BATSWANA – BEWARE OF THE BEAST!

7th December 2021

Fellow Citizens, I greet you all with love from South Africa. I have been requested by one of your respectable journalists to express an opinion in regard to a number of questions touching on current affairs in Botswana. I have decided to provide this in-depth advice, which subsumes all the questions any one of you may have.

There are many things happening around society today. They are mesmerizing because many of you don’t have a clue of what is going on in the bigger scheme of things. Much more is coming your way soon, which will bring radical changes, and more anxiety in your lives. It may catch you be surprise, unless you heed this advice. Your biggest disadvantage as a people today is that you reject wisdom, and destroy your maze runners. You do not make time to read, seek and find the truth for yourselves. Rather, you have a tendency to dissipate time and energy on petty talk, and useless peripheral matters of the day. Most of that stuff is pure distractions from the very core of all issues, which I have been communicating for the past ten years. I have written two books so far, and others are on their way. I have also posted certain blog essays in 2014. Read my books and blog essays. Focus on that, and you will have a clearer picture of what you face today moving forward.

The world is evidently changing fast all over. This happens because of cosmic cycles of time, where one Age passes with its civilization, and a new one emerges. The End of Ages which Jesus Christ foretold is truly upon us. We are living in a moment of prophesy, where each one of you will see the things foretold unfold before our eyes. It is also a moment of opportunity, when all karma accumulated from the past and present is resolved within this time band. Every one of you will surely reap what you have sown, individually and collectively as a Nation, because that is the law of nature – what goes around comes around. You can be sure of this truth by simply observing significant events unfolding around, where everyone who has caused Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela II pain, is experiencing that same pain, and will endure worse of that which they intended to do, but failed. As a Nation, you will reap the full consequences of rejecting your forefathers (Dikgosi) in preference to following leadership of the Beasts of Revelation 13, disguised as a democracy. The book of Revelations Chapter 13 (the blasphemous beast from the sea) foretold this future, revealing in advance the colonists’ 500 year old agenda you experience today. Rev 13 verses 1,2,8 &9 says:

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.  And the beast that I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority…And all that dwell upon the Earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundations of the world. If any man have an ear. Let him hear.

The Beast out of the Sea is the colonists of Africa, North & South America over the past 500 years to date. It is symbolically described as a mixed creature that appeared to be a leopard, with paws like a bear, and a mouth like a Lion. A leopard is a symbol of Bogosi. We have here, a horrific mixed creature that mimics Bogosi, and camouflages in disguised ‘democracy’, when it is not a democracy, but a monstrosity ill begotten of the worst human error in history. It captivates humanity in slavery of a Consciousness Time Bubble built from fake ideologies. It uses scientific mind control techniques of the highest order in Black Magic. Revelations 13 says that Beast (colonists) exercises his powers by delegation, to yet another Beast, that came out from the Earth:

And I beheld another beast coming out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.  And he exerciseth all power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast that the image of the beat should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their forehead: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or name of the beast, or the number of his name (Rev 13 verse 11-17).

This Beast from the Earth symbolizes post-colonial republican governments of today. These so called ‘democratic’ republican governments are (the living beast) from the Earth, acting out delegated authority, for and on behalf of the Beast out of the Sea, whose seven heads represent the colonial powers. This is the reason why all post- colonial governments in Africa are still hostage to their ‘former’ colonial masters, whilst their elite is eternally captured in a colonial mindset. The relationship between those two Beasts carries on to date, exactly as foretold in Revelations 13. Therefore, all of you supporters of fake ‘democracy’; you who proudly call yourselves democrats, socialists, communists, or whatever ideological isms available; you are in fact trapped inside a 500 year old dream, where the Beast is the dreamer.

You are living in his Consciousness Time Bubble. You are mere dolls at his puppet show, playing out a script wearing rags of different colors of your political parties; dancing about and pretending to be opposites whilst the Beast pulls his invisible puppet show strings. His Chief Agent (a funder) is always lurking somewhere, funding all that dancing you see at political rallies, and the decay that follows in governance. Indeed, the Gods that you have created rule your destinies. You find yourselves spinning endlessly in cycles of misery every time you vote for the Beast of the Earth and sustain his consciousness. You don’t pause a moment to ask yourselves why quality of life keeps declining despite your votes, huge money investments in political parties, political campaigns, government budgets – and all that dancing you see at political gatherings.

However, and whatever you may believe, the inconvenient truth confronting society today is that you are all going to reap the full consequences of your blind obedience to wicked authority who serve Revelation 13 Beasts. An event, or series of events, shall mysteriously befall 21st century mankind, which will be pre-meditated in accordance with agendas for the future written clearly within some high profile (think tank) documents, and monuments such as: Protocols of the Elders of Sion, Iron Mountain Report, Project for the New America Century, Georgia Guide Stones etc. All the information on these reports has been available online. You need to read them for yourselves to appreciate what is going on. In one of my blog essays, I wrote and told you about the Georgia Guide Stones. In another, I forewarned you about The Sleeping Giants. Meanwhile, we have been preaching the same mantra: A re ithulaganyeng. Revelations 14 Verses 6-20 is relevant in these times. Verses 14-20 say:

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another Angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the Angel thrust his sickle into the Earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridle, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

All these factors of disease (real or imagined), unbearable inequality and injustice, fear, poison, devaluation of money, economic & infrastructure collapse, natural disasters & war abound, will raise society stress levels to breaking point, and converge to bring about the world depopulation foretold in prophesy (Isiah 24, Matthew 24, Revelations 14, 20 &21, Quran prophesy, Georgia Guide Stones, Nostradamus, Hopi & Maya tribe prophesies etc. and the think tank documents referred above). A civilization that is totally dependent upon money, and fake democracy as their god, will certainly collapse into oblivion once their god (Beast of Revelations 13) is removed from the equation of life. We are already seeing a domino effect of that taking place today. Only those who reject that god will make a new civilization. Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 24 verses 1-12) clearly warned:

Behold, the Lord maketh the Earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, and the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the Earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left…The city of confusion is broken down: every household is shut up, that no man may come in…In the city is left desolate, and the gate is smitten with destruction.

Every individual, society and nation who continues to live within this Consciousness Bubble of fake democracy, must know that they effectively sustain the Beasts of Revelation 13. You are all going perish soon, with the end of that Beast, as foretold in Revelations 14-21, unless you change your attitudes towards life fast. It will happen in our lifetime, before your very eyes, as the people of Sodom & Gomorrah witnessed. Because you worship the Beast, and you refuse to see that glaring fact that you sustain the Beast, you will do everything he says you should do. You will follow him to your own death, like the Pan Piper rats to the river. When he says fear this or that, you will cower in fear. All your decisions will be based on fear consciousness and not love. When he says shut yourselves in your houses, close down your hard earned businesses, don’t move about save with my permission; you will oblige. When he imposes masks over your faces, and says you should put a social distance between yourself and brother, inject your bodies with poison or substances that you don’t know; you will do that (unquestioningly). You will even coerce everyone else to oblige, because he the Beast is your leader. He is your substitute father, after you have forsaken your Dikgosi and forefathers.

You have even expelled one of your most important Kgosi Kgolo from the country. Everyone seems comfortable with that state of affairs, as if it is normal, when it represents a very dark omen of serious karmic consequences. You have sustained the Beast continuously, against all wise counsel, even as you see him destroy society, and display all the characteristic forewarned in Revelations 13. We did warn in The King’s Journal – From the Horse’s Mouth, that every society and nation is going to reap the full consequences of the leadership they follow, unless they change fast. Ngwana yo sa utlweng molao wa batsadi o utlwa wa manong. You will listen to nothing else of value, other than what comes out of your father’s (Beast) blasphemous mouth, which has been lies and hypocrisy all the way, however convincing such lies may be. You will not receive wisdom, because you block it out, until the end of your civilization.

No amount of Constitutional reform will alter this fate, for so long as those reforms simply endorse the Beasts of Revelation 13 in a different fashion. South Africa made that tragic error in 1994, and they pay a heavy price today. That is why we are clear, and remain steadfast, that we Bakgatla Ba kgafela must recover our stolen country, become an independent State, and start a new life of a New Age that does not endorse those Beasts of Revelations 13. We may consider being part of the greater Botswana; but (only) a Botswana which has conspicuously rejected the Beasts, as we Bakgatla have done. Therefore, due vigilance must prevail to guard against a new Botswana constitution being trapped in the same Consciousness Bubble of the Revelations 13 Beasts, in different disguise. We must emphasize the point that you have a most beautiful country, with the best traditions available. You have potential to become a safe foundation for a new civilization; a true shining example of order in Africa. You stand in a moment of great opportunity. You only need to realize your worth, recognize quality in your Tswana heritage, and stop allowing yourselves to be devalued by dangerous foreign norms.

Everyone who internalizes this truth, will readily see that everything else that is happening around you in politics, social events, and social media platforms, is of peripheral importance. It is a spiritual distraction orchestrated from very high above to keep you trapped and looping in that terrible Consciousness Bubble driven by fear energy. It is distracting you from focusing your much needed time, energy and resources upon the one and most important activity within your control today, to affect the fate and destiny of your civilization: Seeing the Beasts of Revelation 13 for what they are. Stop energizing them to your own detriment. Break the hypnotic spell that blinds you to their authority. Step outside their Consciousness Bubble. Remember Albert Einstein’s philosophy that: You cannot solve problems with the same consciousness/mindset that created them. Uphold honest leadership that vibrates a new consciousness compatible with a New Age of truth & justice foretold in prophesy. Stand firm with the truth. Then you will see the light, and manage to ride this wave of current tribulation- however it comes.
PULA!
Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela ii

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Advanced Binding Rulings for Customs Duty Purposes

12th October 2020

Bertrand Russell once said, “What men want is not knowledge, but certainty”. This quote resonates with a lot of investors and businesses in terms of trade facilitation and ease of doing business. Some business laws or transactions will not always be clear to all concerned stakeholders and therefore use of rulings may be necessary to put things into perspective.

The world over, tax administrations are adopting the use of advanced binding rulings (“ABR”) to ease the burden of compliance for taxpayers. Some companies in the country especially in the manufacturing industry import raw materials from outside and depending on where they were bought may be subject to Customs Duty.

There may be some goods with debatable classifications where the taxpayer and Customs administrator have different views on how it should be classified and consequently valued. To solve these kind of problems, the 2018 Customs Duty Act (the Act) introduced the concept of ABR and taxpayers can now request for an ABR from BURS.

The Act defines an ABR as “a written decision provided by Commissioner General to an applicant prior to importation of goods covered by the applicant that sets forth the treatment that shall be provided to the goods at the time of importation, based upon the facts presented by the applicant”. Even though the definition of ABR seems to limit ABRs to importation only, the Act states that an importer, exporter or any interested person may apply to the Commissioner General and be issued with an ABR.

The Act provides for various aspects to be included in the ABR; these are tariff classification of goods, origin of goods, customs valuation, duty exemption, drawback, quotas or fees and any other matters that may be prescribed by the ruling.  Apart from providing the taxpayer with certainty, ABRs are time saving as they expedite the process of customs clearance since other steps such as goods classification and valuation would have been dealt with through the agreement.

The OECD lists ABR systems among the most impactful single trade facilitation measures with potential average cost reduction of 6%. This was therefore a good introduction and contributes to ease of doing business in the country. ABRs also ensures that there is consistency in classification of goods by Customs officials. This does not only benefit taxpayers but Customs administrations as they have advance knowledge of future importations which is useful for risk management purposes. Risk management has become an important aspect of tax administration and this is a good move towards attaining efficiency in tax collection.

The ABR entered into by the taxpayer and BURS can be valid for up to 3 years depending on the agreed validity period between the 2 parties and shall be binding to both parties. No ABR may be issued in relation to current or completed customs transactions, that is, ABRs only apply to customs transactions occurring after the ruling has been issued and specifically included in the agreement. ABRs also do not cover appealed decisions on matters before the courts of law. Where there are material changes to local or international laws regarding the contents of the ruling, the ruling shall cease to be valid and the taxpayer may seek a new one. Taxpayers who are affected by a lot of customs procedures and face uncertainties in terms of goods classification and valuation are encouraged to take advantage of this provision for business efficiency.

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Returning Resident and Natural Persons on Change Of Permanent Residence

23rd September 2020

A returning resident of Botswana and natural persons changing residence to Botswana for whatever reasons upon satisfying immigration requirements are entitled to duty free of goods upon entry into the country. Reason of change of residence may be employment, investment, joining family or returning after long absence from the country.

Customs Act of 2018 Section 234(1) “returning resident shall be authorized to re-import, free of duties and taxes, his or her personal effects and means of transport for private use, which were in free circulation in Botswana, if the goods have not undergone any manufacturing, processing or repairs while abroad other than maintenance in connection with their use abroad

(2) “The Revenue Service may, where necessary, require proof that the personal effects and means of transport for private use were owned and used in Botswana by the returning resident under subsection (1) prior to his or her departure”.

Tariff book volume II rebate 407.06 Household effects and other articles for own use and 407.06/00.00/01.00/05 household furniture , other household effects and other removable articles, including equipment necessary for the exercise of the calling, trade or profession of the person, other than industrial, commercial or agricultural plant and excluding motor vehicle, alcohol beverages and tobacco goods the bona fide property of a natural person(including a returning resident of Botswana after an absence of 6 months or more) and members of his or her family, imported for own use on change of his her residence to Botswana : provided these goods are not disposed of within a period of 6 months from the date of entry.

In addition Tariff book volume II rebate 407.04 Motor vehicles imported by natural persons on change of permanent residence and  407.04/87.00/01.02/20 states the one is allowed to import duty free one motor vehicle per family, imported by natural persons for his or her personal or own use, who permanently changes his or her residence to Botswana and

  • Provided the vehicle so imported is the personal property of the importer and has personal property of the importer and has personally been used by him or her
  • For a period of not less than 12 months prior to his or her departure to Botswana (FULL DUTY REBATE) or;
  • For a period of less than 12 months prior to his or her departure to Botswana (PRO RATA)
  • In the case of approved intended residents arriving from an African country, is owned and used for such shorter period as the Commissioner General may in exceptional circumstances decided and
  • Provided the vehicle is not offered, advertised, lent, hired, leased, pledged, given away, exchanged, sold or otherwise disposed of within a period of 20 months from the date of entry.

The returning resident or natural persons changing residence, entering Botswana are expected to engage a clearing agent who will manage her/his paper work clearance. The clearing agent will charge a service fee and submit a declaration to customs official.

When the customs official is satisfied that the client is qualifying as per the above requirements the officer will issue authenticated Rebate certificate101 which will be used to waive duties.

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