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Botswana

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Return to homepage  |  Last updated: 24 June, 2020

General Information

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development on 31 March 2020 announced government’s plan for tax relief as part of broad measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tax measures – Direct and Indirect

(e.g. payment deferrals, rate reductions…)

Click to see a comprehensive summary of jurisdictional tax measures and government reliefs in response to COVID-19.

Employment-related measures

(e.g. state compensation schemes, training…)

  • The implementation of a Covid-19 Wage Support Scheme to provide financial support to employees in the travel and tourism sector, export-oriented enterprises, ICT/BPO sector, SMEs and other sectors of the economy, who become technically unemployed on a temporary basis due to the impact of the Coronavirus.
  • Wage subsidies for businesses registered for tax, regardless of whether they owe tax.
  • Qualifying businesses will access wage subsidies of up to P 2 500 per month per each citizen employee for the months of April, May and June 2020.

Economic stimulus measures

(e.g. loans, moratorium on debt repayments…)

  • The Government is setting up a COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund into which it will inject P2 billion. The private sector is called upon to generously contribute to the Fund.
  • Such contributions will be tax deductible only if Fund is prescribed by the Minister and approved by the Commissioner General.
  • To stabilize businesses, Government Guaranteed Loans of up 25 million per borrower will be made available to tax compliant businesses.
  • Reduction in bank rate, waiver of penalties, rescheduling of loan repayments etc.
  • Development of post-Corona Economic Stimulus Package.

Other measures and sources

Use of electronic platforms

  • Manual statutory filing will not be possible during the lockdown period. To avoid incurring late payment and / or late filing penalties taxpayers are thus encouraged to utilize the online compliance platforms provided by the tax authority. Where it is not possible to comply with tax obligations because of, for example, failure of the electronic platforms, impossibility to submit returns because of the lockdown, clients should request tax authority to waive any interest or penalties that may be levied.

Use of electronic platforms

  • In addition to fiscal measures the Government, under the Emergency Powers Act (Cap.22.04), published regulations on 2 April 2020 aimed at avoiding and containing the spread of the COVID-19. The regulations became effective immediately on publication i.e. 2 April 2020. The measures include:
    • prohibition of entry into Botswana of travelers from or who have transited through specified high risk countries,
    • mandatory quarantine for returning residents,
    • suspension of visa issuance,
    • prohibition of movement for persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 and
    • A nationwide lockdown which, inter alia, prohibited non-essential movement of people within Botswana became effective from 2 April 2020. The lockdown was lifted country-wide with effect from 21 May 2020 but may be reinstated in an area/zone-focused manner should the situation demand.
  • A range of services have been specified as essential.
  • Heavy fines, penalties and/or imprisonment may be imposed for non-compliance with the Regulations.

Sources of additional information:

Contact

Tax: Olivia Muzvidziva - olivia.muzvidziwa@kpmg.bw
Leonard Muza - leonard.muza@kpmg.bw
Masa Selerio - masa.selerio@kpmg.bw
Kenneth Sakonda - kenneth.sakonda@kpmg.bw