Connect with us

The tax season is upon us

As we battle with Corona and get into the middle of one of the dreaded seasons; the “flu season”, 30th of June 2020 marks the end of the 2019/2020 tax year for individuals and that means the tax filing season is upon us, yep, another season we so hate is here.

We have three months up to 30th September 2020 to file our income tax returns. The filing of returns includes for individuals running businesses as sole traders or partnerships. Therefore, income from employment, rental, transport, bars, grocery stores, farming, disposal of shares or any other business enterprise have to be declared in the return and tax thereon calculated accordingly.

Therefore, it is important for taxpayers to prepare for this period to avoid any inconveniences that may arise from non-filing of the returns. The inconveniences can range from tax penalties or interest, inability to transfer property, get licensing for a certain business, recapitalizing of investments or any other venture that may need a valid tax clearance certificate for you to conduct. The most important factor as you prepare for filing of your return is to ensure you have all the right documents that are necessary for your return to be completed. For individuals that are employees, documents such as ITW8 certificate, which is proof that your employer has been deducting tax from you is a necessity. It has to be attached to the return on submission.

Failure to submit the ITW8 certificate may result in you not being able to claim your refunds where you are in a refundable position or your account appear as owing when it’s not owing. The old Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) E services platform did not have option to attach the tax certificate.

Therefore, where you have been issued with an additional assessment or your refund was pending approval because of this, you can submit the certificate at the nearest BURS office for assistance. The new tax system (Lekgetho Live) will automatically link your tax credits to declarations made by the employer and therefore no need for attachments or manual submissions going forward. This hopefully will expedite refunding of individuals which has been a big issue for the past three to five years.

It should be noted that declarations in the return should include income for board memberships where such boards have allowances, salaries earned by members of parliament and councilors save for their sitting allowances. As for those in business, they will need to prepare their books of accounts showing whether the business ventures have been profitable or not.

If the enterprises are loss making, then such losses will be carried forward over a period of five years and will be offset against future income of such business. In a case where an individual is into farming and other businesses they will have to separate the calculations and treat the farming business as a stand-alone trade as it has some special tax treatments.

Other important documents are withholding tax certificates for income such as rent, interest, commission, livestock sold for slaughter and other income that may have been subjected to withholding tax. This will be claimed as a tax credit against the total tax payable in the return. In the event that an individual has private pension plans with locally approved insurers they also have to collect the certificates from respective insurers to claim this as part of deductions from their income. This may result in a current tax saving(refund) for some who had paid tax in advance through PAYE. Other deductible expenses include membership fees of trade unions for employees.

For individuals in philanthropy and having donated to approved institutions or individuals in sports, health or education may have the donations also as deductible expenses before calculating their taxable income. Any donations in relation to Covid 19 does not qualify as a tax deductible expenditure as communicated by the Ministry of Finance.

Failure to file the return on time attracts a penalty of P100 per day and may be up to the maximum tax payable in the return, in practice this has not been applied on individuals with employment income only but for those with rental and other business income such penalties apply. Late payment of tax attracts interest of 1.5% per month or part thereof, individual tax payments are due 30 days after BURS has issued an assessment.

Do not wait for September to be running around chasing the deadline prepare for 1st July and file your return on time without having to endure the queues (long social distancing queues). File at the comfort of your blankets or lounge through the mobile application or Lekgetho Live system, in any case we have to stay home and stay safe until 30th September when the State of Emergency elapses. BE SMART, BE SAFE, FILE YOUR TAX RETURN ON TIME.

Continue Reading


Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!


Continue Reading


Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!


Continue Reading



23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!