BURS says gifts ought to be declared
Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) has confirmed that indeed former president Ian Khama’s presidential exit gifts worth millions of Pula should be subjected to taxation. The taxman said the gifts ought to have been declared to allow the BURS to get its dues.
This week, BURS explained how and under which criteria the former president is being demanded to pay tax for his gifts although they refused to divulge if Khama had complied with their demands.
“In terms of the BURS Act and Income Tax Act, which is applicable in certain aspects of the Capital Transfer Tax Act (CTT Act), BURS is not at liberty to say whether or not any taxpayer, including the former president Khama has complied with the requirements of the CTT Act.”, explained BURS through its General Manger- Communications Mable Bolele.
She said CTT is a tax on gratuitous disposals. This would entail gifts, inheritance, waiver or renuncation of rights of property. CTT is applicable to all kinds of property be it moveable or immovable, corporeal or incorporeal. According to Bolele it is chargable (or borne) by the recepient or donee and charged on the aggregate value of all chargable disposals made by the donor to the donee in any tax year.
It is understood that Khama moved swiflty to avoid taxation drama after realising that his close ally who is the former spy chief- Isaac Kgosi was already under scrutiny. It is understood that Khama suspected that he was next and wanted to put his house in order.
Earlier this month, The Botswana Gazette reported that the taxman, BURS had written to Khama demanding their share in his gifts. This publication unearthed that Khama continued to receive presents even after vacating the office to which BURS demanded they be declared and taxed.
Khama unfortunately could not comply at the time because he did not have a list of the gifts as it was at the State House. At the time of the request, tensions between Khama and his successor, President Mokgweetsi Masisi were already at the boiling point.
Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi said his office knew nothing about the missing list and referred Khama to his former Private Secretary Brigadier George Tlhalerwa and his team, who also denied any knowledge about the matter.