Corona Virus has disrupted international supply chain and business operations and markets of the world over, lot of traders have lost value on their stocks and businesses have also lost revenue due to the pandemic. Hence, countries have responded by closing borders in order to prevent and control further spread of COVID 19. As such traders are forced to use alternative ports of entries which might not be economically favorable to them and therefore resulting in elevated cost of doing business. In response traders are likely to increase final prices of product in order to cover for inputs cost. Similarly, few border post means congestions hence delay of clearance which also will lead to cost and inconveniences to final consumers. In addition, the supply chain security maybe compromised due the speed of the events which did not allow customs officials to revise their risk criteria and risk target.
Transit goods are also likely to be delayed due to border procedure requirements especially for first timers due diverged from their usual routes as a result of closure of ports of entries. Medical equipment and related drugs may also be delayed at ports of entries especially when they come as donations due to non-compliance with rebates on donations as the pressure might not allow donors to consult for purposes of compliance. Border procedures can drive up costs of trading by imposing delays and transactions costs.
According to the OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators, the simplification and harmonisation of border procedures could reduce transaction costs by 10% (Moise et al., 2011), while earlier OECD work shows that 65% of worldwide welfare gains from trade facilitation would accrue to developing countries (Walkenhorst and Yasui, 2009).
According to the World Bankâ€™s Doing Business data, it takes three times as many days, nearly twice as many documents, and six times as many signatures to import goods in poor countries as it does in rich ones (cited in McLinden, 2012). Africa has substantially more import procedures than the most efficient developing country region, East Asia, and nearly twice as many as OECD countries (World Bank, Doing Business 2012). Delays in passing through customs have often been singled out as the villain in border delays.
In fact, more often than not, it is the combination of other agencies â€“ health, agriculture, quarantine, police, immigration, and standards â€“ that cause processing delays, as shown by the Time Release Studies undertaken by several countries to measure the average time for each step of border process interventions (see Matsuda, 2011). These problems coupled with the new pandemic will definitely cause more delays even for procedures that are automated because of the health checks involved.
From a government perspective there is likely to be loss of revenue such as Income Tax, VAT and Customs Duty due to closure of borders and business losses arising from factors arising from the pandemic. The closure of borders and limited number of people in one area, the revenue authority is likely to receive fewer goods than in a normal day and therefore affecting revenue that is generated by government due to movement of people and goods.
Due to these losses, businesses or traders may receive some form of compensation or support in the form of insurance or government intervention. These interventions have some tax implications that businesses need to ensure that they are taken care of to avoid interest and penalties in relation to these transactions. Business and trading losses arising from this pandemic are tax deductible as they meet the deductibility test in section 39(2) of the Income Tax Act, therefore these should be well documented to ensure that they are claimed in the financial statements.
Furthermore, any related compensation such as insurance and other forms of compensation such as government grants will be part of business income and should therefore be included as part of revenue. The insurance claim received under a short term insurance contract for business losses also has some Value Added Tax (VAT) implications.
The amount received by the business is deemed to be inclusive of VAT and therefore when accounting for the VAT received form the insurance claim businesses should use the VAT fraction (12/112) to determine the VAT payable to BURS. For instance, if a business has received P112, 000 insurance claim for losses arising from the pandemic the VAT amount payable will be P12, 000 (12/112*P112, 000).Â Failure to record this as revenue for the business may be interpreted as some form of sales suppression and tax evasion from both income tax and VAT perspective.
The penalties and interest arising from these may be huge and reach up to a maximum of 200% of the tax liability arising from such transactions if not declared, therefore businesses should ensure these are accounted for properly. Apart from the losses or income received from compensation or insurance businesses, individuals can donate to medical institutions such as Princess Marina or National Laboratories Centre to aid them in fighting the pandemic.
These donations will be tax deductible and will reduce the business or individualâ€™s taxable income provided the donations are worth more than P1, 000, the deduction will be limited to 20% of the personâ€™s income. This provision encourages individuals and companies to have Corporate Social Investment initiatives aimed at improving conditions in the health sector as it is one of the basic necessities in the society.
The civic organizations that may receive grants and donations to fight this pandemic and are not specifically exempt from tax will have to pay Capital Transfer Tax at the rate of 12.5% from receipt of the donations. In conclusion businesses and government should ensure that their business continuity strategies and risk management policies are functional to enable them to recover quickly from the effects of the pandemic.
With the world still reeling from the negative impact of the Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), and the latest Omicron variant (which is responsible for the ongoing global forth wave) on everyone’s lips, we should not forget and neglect other aspects of our health.
While anyone can get infected with corona virus and become seriously ill or die at any age, studies continue to show that people aged 60 years and above, and those with underlying medical conditions like hypertension, heart and lung problems, diabetes, obesity, cancers, or mental illness are at a higher risk of developing serious illness or dying from covid-19.
It is a good habit to visit a doctor regularly, even if you feel healthy. Regular health checks can help identify any early signs of health issues or assess your risk of future illness hence prompting one to take charge and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and other non-communicable diseases (even communicable) can often be picked up in their early stages, when chances for effective treatment are high.
During a health check, your doctor will take a thorough history from you regarding your medical history, your family’s history of disease, your social life and habits, including your diet, physical activity, alcohol use, smoking and drug intake. S/he will examine you including measuring your weight, blood pressure, feeling your body organs and listening to your heart and lungs amongst the rest. Depending on the assessment, your doctor will notify you how often you need to have a health check. If you have a high risk of a particular health condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent health checks from an early age.
Diet – a healthy diet improves one’s general health and wellbeing. It is recommended that we have at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables daily. Physical activity – regular physical activity has significant health benefits on one’s body, mind & soul. It contributes to preventing and managing non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, enhances thinking, learning, and judgment skills and improves overall well-being. According to the world health organisation (WHO), people who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active. Aim for 30 minutes to an hour of moderate physical activity at least four days in a week. Examples of moderate physical activity include brisk walking, gentle swimming and social tennis.
Weight – maintaining a healthy weight range helps in preventing long-term complications like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis. It is also vital for one’s mental wellbeing and keeping up with normal activities of daily living. Ask your doctor to check your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference annually. If you are at a higher risk, you should have your weight checked more frequently and a stern management plan in place.
Alcohol – as per WHO reports, alcohol consumption contributes to 3 million deaths each year globally as well as to the disabilities and poor health of millions of people. Healthy drinking entails taking no more than two standard drinks per drinking day with at least two alcohol-free days in a week.
Smoking –Nicotine contained in tobacco is highly addictive and tobacco use is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, many different types of cancer, and many other debilitating health conditions. Every year, at least a whopping 8 million people succumb from tobacco use worldwide. Tobacco can also be deadly for non-smokers through second-hand smoke exposure. It is not ‘fashionable’ if it is going to cost you and your loved ones lives! If you are currently smoking, talk to your doctor and get help in quitting as soon as possible to reduce the harm.
Blood pressure: Hypertension is a serious medical condition and can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases. It is a major cause of premature death worldwide, with upwards of 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women – over a billion people – having the condition. Have your blood pressure checked annually if it is normal, you are aged under 40 and there is no family history of hypertension. You might need to have it checked more frequently if you are over 40, your blood pressure is on the high side, or you have a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack. Your doctor will be there to guide you.
Dental care – eating a low-sugar diet and cleaning and flossing the teeth regularly can reduce one’s risk of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. Visit a dentist every six months for a dental examination and professional cleaning, or more frequently as per your dentist’s advice. Blood tests – annual to five-yearly blood tests may be done to further assess or confirm risk of disease. These may include blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, kidney function, liver function, tumour markers, among other things. They may be done frequently if there is already an existing medical condition.
Cancer screening – various screening techniques can be done to detect different cancers in their early or pre-cancer stages. These include; skin inspections for any suspicious moles/spots, two-yearly mammograms for those at risk of developing breast cancer, Pap smear or the new Cervical Screening Test (CST) every five years, stool tests and colonoscopy (every five years) for those at most risk of bowel cancer, prostate cancer screening for those at risk (over 45 years of age, family history of cancers etc.). Discuss appropriate tests with your doctor.
Vaccinations – You should discuss with your doctor about the necessary routine immunisation, in particular; the Covid-19 vaccines, an annual flu shot, a five-yearly pneumococcal vaccine if you have never had one or you are immunocompromised and any other boosters that you might need.
If you need further advice or treatment please call 4924730, email HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com or visit www.themedisccentre.co.bw
Antoinette Boima, MBBS, BMedSci, PgDip HIV/AIDS, Cert Aesth Med is the Managing Director of The Medics Centre in Palapye.
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
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.