No Need for Tax Return for June 2021 by a Salaried Employee


In Botswana, those earning Pula 48,000 (USD 4,300 - August 2021) or less do not pay income tax.  Commissioner General (CG) of Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) has declared that those Salaried Employees with gross income of P 480,000 (USD 43,000 - August 2021) do not have to file Personal Income Tax Returns, according to a recent individual_tax_returns_2021.pdf.  This really reduces the administrative costs and time involved in making assessments during these Covid-19 times.  We consider this to be an innovative measure.


The circular clearly states that employers should have deducted Pay As You Earn (PAYE) accurately, in order for the employees to avail this exemption.   Incidentally, the correct tax that should have been deducted is P 97,050 for P 480,000 (about 20%).   Another condition is that the employee should not have changed employment.  There is a chance that there could be errors in tax deduction when two employers deduct tax from the same employee for the same tax year because the latter employer is not likely to know the tax deducted by the former employer.  Finally this only applies to June 2021 tax year.  This is why we believe that it is a Covid 19 related measure. 


It should be noted that some years ago employees subjected to PAYE were never required to file tax returns, according to Botswana Tax.  The requirement to file tax returns by all employees earning taxable salaries was caused by an amendment to the Act.  This time for Tax Year 2021 and for gross income of P 480,000 or less, Commissioner General has issued a circular waiving the requirement of having to file tax returns.