Government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is currently considering proposals of the Taxation Review Committee of how to diversify the government revenue base. Finance minister, Kenneth Matambo said on Monday during the presentation of the 2017/18 Budget Speech that these proposals include adjusting various taxes, levies permits and licenses and reviewing some tax expenditure such as VAT exemptions.
With the mineral revenues declining and SACU revenue being volatile, Matambo said there is therefore an urgent need to diversify the revenue base towards more sustainable and reliable sources. Botswana’s revenue base is largely confined to mineral and Customs and Excise and the two revenue earners, according to Matambo, have of late been fluctuating due to performance of imports within the SACU region.
Diversification of source of revenue is one of the priority areas for government this coming financial year, along with human capital development, social development, sustainable use of natural resources, and consolidation of good governance and strengthening of national security as well as monitoring and evaluation. Matambo’s ministry is also considering other proposals from the Taxation Review Committee such as the introduction of Transfer Pricing rules in the Income Tax Act which is aimed at curbing any tax avoidance.
The other proposals being considered are amending the Income Tax Act, among others to impose a penalty for non-filers irrespective of whether there is any tax to pay or not and to amend the Value Added Tax Act to include sale of property by a Deputy Sheriff as a taxable transaction.