17 August 2015

Botswana and Mauritius sign Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement

Botswana and Mauritius on Saturday August 15 signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, renewing a convention the two countries have had since 1995.

Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Kenneth Matambo represented Botswana while Mauritius' Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Marie Joseph Noel Etienne Ghislain Sinatambou signed on behalf of his government.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Matambo said the convention had to be amended to make it compliant with international standards on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.

He said parliament amended the Income Tax Act in December 2012 to allow the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) to exchange information for tax purposes.

"Among others, the amendment of the Act provided for the exchange of tax information in response to a request for information from a competent authority of a treaty partner," he said.

He said it limited disclosure of tax information to persons who dealt with assessment, enforcement or collection of tax. "Therefore the tax information that your tax authority will exchange with us will be used only for tax purposes," Mr Matambo said.

For his part, Mr Sinatambou said that marked conclusion of yet another milestone signaling good relationship between the two countries. He however said the partnership should be enhanced to include investment in order to transform their economies from exporting raw materials but finished and enhanced products.

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