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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Phase 1 Peer Review - Botswana

This report for Botswana has been published on 16 Dec 2010. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   There are no provisions made for nominee shareholders.  An obligation should be established for nominees to maintain relevant ownership and identity information where they act as the legal owner on behalf of any other person. 
Societies are not required to maintain information on their members.  Societies should be required to maintain a register of members. 
While trusts with resident trustees (as broadly defined under the Income Tax Act) are required to register and file returns for tax purposes, there is no specific requirement that information concerning the settlor, trustees and beneficiaries of trusts be maintained.  An obligation should be established for trustees resident in Botswana to maintain information on the settlor, trustees and beneficiaries of their trusts. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   There is no obligation for any entity to maintain underlying documentation unless they are carrying on a business.  The requirements to maintain accounting records should include an obligation to maintain underlying documentation. 
The requirements to maintain accounting records for trusts and partnerships only apply where the trust or partnership is carrying on a business in Botswana.  Trusts and partnerships required to register for tax purposes should be required to maintain accounting records to the international standards. 
Societies are not required to maintain accounting records.  Societies should be required to maintain accounting records to international standards. 
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Bank information can only be obtained with a court order in connection with a proceeding in Botswana.  Bank secrecy should be eliminated in connection with a request for information under an international agreement that provides for the exchange of information in tax matters. 
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Botswana has bank secrecy provisions that prevent the effective exchange of information and it is unclear whether a specific provision in a treaty requiring the exchange of bank information would take precedence.  Botswana should amend its law such that the provisions for the exchange of information in its existing treaties can be given effect, particularly as regards the exchange of bank information. 
Botswana’s tax law only allows exchange of information with a foreign government for the purposes of an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation.  Botswana should amend its law to allow for exchange of information pursuant to any form of information exchange arrangement. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Botswana has only one agreement that appears to provide for effective exchange of information.  Botswana should pursue its schedule of negotiations and ensure that new treaties include the current wording of article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention and enter into agreements with all relevant information exchange partners. Botswana should also be prepared to enter into other arrangements that provide for effective exchange of information. 
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Botswana’s tax law authorises the disclosure of information obtained from another tax authority for purposes other than the administration of its tax laws.  Botswana’s tax laws should restrict the disclosure of information received from a foreign tax authority to the purposes and persons specified in the agreement, consistent with the internationally agreed standard. 
Information received in connection with a request for information from Botswana’s tax authorities may be disclosed for the purposes of the administration of any fiscal law, and is not restricted to the taxes covered by its agreement with the foreign jurisdiction.  The disclosure of information received in connection with a request for information should be restricted as described above. 
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.