Molepolole North lawmaker, Oabile Regoeng stated he was worriForeign Investors Evade Tax – Regoeng
Molepolole North legislator, Oabile Regoeng said he was concerned by the millions of pula that left the country through tax evasion.
In a question in Parliament last week, Regoeng wanted to know if it was not an opportune for travellers at ports of exit carrying cash above a certain threshold to produce proof from the bank that the money was withdrawn from and/or information on its real source.
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Responding to the question, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Thapelo Matsheka told Parliament that there was no maximum amount of hard cash that an individual was allowed to carry when they travelled to foreign destinations. However, Matsheka said that in line with the general cash transaction threshold provided for under Regulation 19 of the Financial Intelligence Act, travellers in or out of Botswana are required to declare the money.
Matsheka said the traveller has to declare to the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) at the port of entry or exit, any hard cash in their possession exceeding P10,000 and provide proof of the source of such money.
“In the absence of such proof, or if there are any suspicions, investigations are carried out by BURS to ascertain the source of money carried across the borders of Botswana, and the legitimacy thereof,” Matsheka said.
“Subsequently, all transactions involving declared amounts at borders are reported by BURS to the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) as part of Compliance Reports in terms of Section 36 of the Financial Intelligence Act.”
The minister added that suspected false cash declarations are reported as Suspicious Transactions, and are analysed and disseminated by FIA to the Botswana Police Service and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) for further investigation. Regoeng revealed the motive of his enquiry when he stood up for a supplementary question asking if the minister was aware that there were certain businesses which made transactions in cash and did not have business accounts.
The minister responded by saying they were aware of some shortcomings and would be looking into loopholes.
Regoeng later told The Monitor he would engage with the minister further as he felt his question was not adequately addressed.
“I am concerned about many foreignowned businesses that only transact in cash. They do so deliberately to evade tax and carry large amounts of cash to use in their home countries. “We need to come up with a way to ensure that we benefit from taxes they pay, but we continue to see them operating in the same manner over the years.”
Regoeng was of the view that the current system used by BURS was ineffective to stop the tax dodgers and said something should be done to address the problem as the country was losing millions of pula in the process.ed by the numerous pula that left the country through tax evasion.
In an inquiry in Parliament recently, Regoeng wished to know if it was not an opportune for travellers at ports of departure lugging money above a particular threshold to create proof from the bank that the cash was withdrawn from and/or information on its real resource.
Replying to the inquiry, Priest of Financing as well as Economic Development, Thapelo Matsheka informed Parliament that there was no optimum quantity of hard cash that an individual was enabled to lug when they took a trip to foreign locations. However, Matsheka stated that in line with the general cash deal threshold offered under Guideline 19 of the Financial Intelligence Act, visitors in or out of Botswana are required to state the money.
Matsheka said the visitor needs to declare to the Botswana Unified Earnings Service (BURS) at the port of entrance or exit, any kind of hard cash in their belongings going beyond P10,000 and also supply evidence of the source of such money.
” In the absence of such evidence, or if there are any uncertainties, investigations are performed by BURS to establish the resource of money brought across the borders of Botswana, as well as the authenticity thereof,” Matsheka claimed.
” Ultimately, all purchases involving stated amounts at boundaries are reported by BURS to the Financial Intelligence Firm (FIA) as part of Compliance Reports in terms of Section 36 of the Financial Knowledge Act.”
The priest added that believed false cash affirmations are reported as Dubious Deals, and also are analysed and distributed by FIA to the Botswana Authorities Solution and also Directorate on Corruption as well as Economic Criminal Activity (DCEC) for additional investigation. Regoeng disclosed the objective of his enquiry when he stood up for a supplementary concern asking if the preacher knew that there were specific organisations which made transactions in cash money and also did not have service accounts.
The preacher responded by stating they understood some shortcomings and would certainly be considering technicalities.
Regoeng later told The Display he would engage with the minister further as he felt his question was not adequately dealt with.
” I am worried concerning numerous foreignowned companies that only transact in money. They do so deliberately to evade tax obligation and bring huge amounts of cash to utilize in their house countries. “We require to come up with a way to guarantee that we benefit from taxes they pay, yet we remain to see them operating similarly throughout the years.”
Regoeng was of the view that the existing system utilized by BURS was ineffective to quit the tax dodgers and stated something needs to be done to address the problem as the nation was shedding numerous pula while doing so.