Botswana has a fiscal year from 1 July to 30 June. However, a business may select its own accounting year, which may end on a date other than 30 June. The accounting year is accepted as the tax year, i.e., for the computation of the company’s taxable income.
Companies are required to submit income tax returns within four months from the end of the fiscal year.
Where the tax liability is less than BWP 50,000, the tax is payable within four months from the end of the company’s financial year.
If the tax payable for a tax year exceeds BWP 50,000, then the estimated tax is required to be paid in four equal quarterly installments. Accordingly, the first quarterly payment is to be made within three months from the beginning of the financial year and the balance quarterly payments are to be made at three monthly intervals thereafter. The final (balance) payment, if any, is to be made within four months from the end of the financial year at the time of submission of the return.
The Botswana tax authorities have issued guidelines on the tax amnesty scheme wherein a 100% waiver of interest and penalties is provided for taxpayers that pay the principal amount of outstanding taxes due during the amnesty period from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 (extended from 31 December 2021).
The taxes covered under the scheme include corporate income tax, other withholding taxes, taxes under pay as you earn (PAYE) and VAT. For income tax dues, the amnesty applies for all tax years prior to the amnesty period, including the tax year 2020/21. For VAT, the amnesty applies to all tax periods before 1 July 2021, depending on the taxpayer’s VAT period.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Botswana announced the deferral of 75% of any two quarterly self-assessment tax payments due between March 2020 and September 2020, which can be paid between 1 March and 31 December 2021. Subject to approval, this deferral is available for taxpayers with a valid tax clearance certificate, provided that 25% of the tax due is paid, including for:
- Quarterly advance tax installment payments due for any two quarters in the pandemic period;
- Corporate tax balance payments due during the pandemic period; and
- Estimated tax payments less than BWP 50,000 for any two quarters or the lump sum payable during the pandemic period, including lump sums payable by non-company taxpayers.
Deferred tax amounts that remain unpaid after 31 December 2021 will be subject to compound interest at a rate of 1.5% per month.
Tax returns can be filed electronically on the revenue website, namely BURS.