In 2011, the Income Tax Act Chapter 52:01 was amended and among the amendments was the insertion of paragraph (r) at section 41 of the Act. The amendment sought to include training levy as a specific deduction in determining the assessable income of a taxpayer. It is against this background that the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) Commissioner General revised one of their client’s (the taxpayer) 2010 tax year assessments to disallow training levy as he was of the opinion that they were disallowable under section 50(b) prior to the 2011 amendment. Section 50(b) states that:

“Subject to any express provision in this Part authorizing a specified deduction in ascertaining chargeable income, no deduction shall be allowed in respect of any amount not wholly, exclusively and necessarily laid out or expended for the purpose of producing assessable income”

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The taxpayer on the other hand argued that training levy has always been deductible as it qualified for the same under section 39(2) which covers general allowable deductions. The said section which is a mirror image of section 50(b) states that:

“In ascertaining the chargeable income of any person for any tax year there shall, upon due claim and subject to such evidence as the Commissioner may require, be deducted from the assessable income of such person all expenditure wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred by that person during the tax year in the production of his assessable income.”

After various engagements and a stint at the board of adjudicators the case eventually went before the High Court where both parties had to defend their arguments and prove their cases. BURS’ contention was that prior to the 2011 amendment training levy was not an allowable expense as it failed the test of wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the income tax act.


The argument of whether an expense is wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred is an old phenomenon that goes beyond our borders. Various tax cases have been deliberated on this subject and it is evident that revenue authorities tend to lean towards the rigid interpretation of the phrase compared to an extensive and fact based approach of the interpretation. It is no surprise that BURS contended that the same approach should be applied in this case. The rigid approach seeks to establish a direct connection between the income produced and the expense incurred, in following this approach BURS argued that though the taxpayer had incurred the expense there is no direct linkage to income produced. BURS further argued that the taxpayer can operate without having to incur the training levy expenditure.

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Such a narrow interpretation will indeed mean that various expenses such as parking fees, road levy and other related expenses are disallowable as there is no direct linkage to the income produced. The taxpayer on the other hand argued that training levy is a necessary expense in conducting business as it is a requirement of law that the company should incur training levy. Therefore the objective of incurring the expense matters more than the direct effect of the expense on producing income. The judge agreed with the taxpayer that training levy is sufficiently closely connected to operations of the business as the taxpayer will be trading illegally if they do not comply with the Training Levy Order.

However, subject to provisions of section 87(1), taxpayers that had their training levy expense disallowed for tax years 2011 and prior may not have it allowed for tax purposes. Section 87(1) reads:

“Subject to section 80(1) and (3) and section 81, where in relation to an assessment —

(a) No valid notice of objection has been given under section 88;

(b) Subsequent to the determination of an objection, no valid notice of appeal has been given under section 91; or

(c) An appeal has been determined and there is no right of further appeal, such assessment shall be final and not subject to appeal”.


When You try to Skip Church but God…

Nice piece of introspection.

Peolwane In The Sky

“So? What do you mean your dress is wet so you are not going?” my mother, the earliest early bird I know, waited for my answer as I got up confused with a slight tugging at my heart I had went to bed with that I did not want to go to church in the morning. Home was alive with the warmth of things baking in the oven, mealie porridge simmering in a pot and hymns playing softly in the background. Mom had slipped into my room and was shocked to find me still under covers, because I knew that church was far and we left home earlier than most. To top it off, I am slow. She couldn’t understand why someone with spectacular snail-pace would still be in bed when we had only an hour and a half to go. I mumbled something that didn’t even make sense to…

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Return of The College Times? (@girlbytheriver saves my friend’s talent)

I have friends and family who, when we meet, will invariably comment on how quiet I’ve been, or how I don’t stay in touch. Depending on who they are, I’ll laugh it off and move on quickly to asking how they’ve been, or I’ll retort that they too could have picked up the phone to […]

via I Can Love And Care About You All The Way From Over Here (guest post by Asifa Mmokwe) — girlbytheriver

In God’s light

Nice piece……

Peolwane In The Sky

I can come to the throne of grace boldly. It was never specified that who can come and who can’t. In God’s light, we are all equal. I encourage all the men of this modern society to emancipate themselves from the bonds of patriarchy, which was a tool developed by their forefathers to have their own way in society, which basically disesteem women. Especially men of faith.
Of course you can open the door for me! You might happen to be a much better handler of heavy oak doors. And of course I will cook for you. I have much better knowledge of spices and mixing things. But it can go either way. Regardless of that, faith in Jesus Christ has never put down anyone with regard to their genetic makeup.
The function of society has been for many centuries based on survival of the fittest and smartest competitors. While…

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I recently ran into an article highlighting

How we might perceive our fathers at

Different stages in live, I could relate well

To the article because it reminded me of my

Late father, Kruger, popularly known as

Moruti wa Venture in the village, then he

Was a monster, for at 10, watching age 13

Rated movie was out of bounds, this is a


Privilege we enjoyed in his absence, maybe

It was a testimony to that Setswana saying;

Naga e senang bo khudutlou bo lobeto ba ipha

Naga; Monday through Thursday we watched

Passions and the Bold, and Friday, the party

Pooper will show up; we will get elated at his

Arrival only to remember that Mr uptight is

In town, no more soapies nor over 13 movies


The ever cheerful, approachable and friendly

Character he was, yet so uncompromising when

It comes to discipline and the Word of God, so

Stern that some thought he was an old-fashioned

Christian, sin was sin for him; and enjoyment

Outside the principles of God was sin, no matter

How we tried to clean it, his firm stance on what to

Watch or not to watch seemed a little bit unfair


Little did we know that he was only trying to build

Us; I remember he would ask me questions on

Sunday about what I learnt at children’s Sunday

School, at that time I felt like he was testing my

Intelligence, for it will be question after question

And put me on the spotlight; and as years went by

These questions kept on troubling my being and

Now I started to pause and developed more interest


In who Jesus Christ really is, I eased my heart for

Understanding of the power of His death and

Resurrection; in short I realised that I was just a

Church goer; so it was then when I responded to

The call of salvation, and realised that he was only

Doing his heavenly duty: train up your child in the

Way he should go, and when he is of age he will not

Depart away from it; there is no better legacy than that

It is my prayer that I will leave such impression upon

My children; that they will remember me as the one

Who prepared their path towards light and eternal life


Prepared by: Tumelo Rannau

In honour of: The legendary Onkutule “Kruger” Rannau


So today is international teachers’ day, we

Remember all the brave men and women

Of this nation, the unsung heroes and

Heroines if you may say, the ones who

Taught us 123 and ABC, the mother of all

Professions they say; Sir Seretse Khama,

Amantle Montsho, Ratsie Setlhako, you

Name them; all are fruits of a teacher


They impart knowledge, nurture talent and

Provide guidance in life, jack of all trades

And master of none; a befitting cliché for them

Great impact they have in our lives, from pre

School through tertiary, without taking away

The spotlight from them, what if we can pause

And reflect on the greatest teacher of all time

Where does he or she comes from, you may ask


Well He is the Word, the One who became flesh,

The one who gave us life in abundance, He

Showed us how to live on this world full of

Tribulations and provided guidelines on how to

Flee from temptations of this world, He is famous

Of the Neighbour Lecture, Prodigal Son Address,

The Talents Report, The Shepherd Sermon, And

My all-time favourite, The Mustard Seed Speech


Because He loves us, when he left to be with the

Father He gave us another teacher; the Holy Spirit

For He is the only One who understand the mind

Of God, and the only being to provide us with

Understanding when it comes to spiritual things

Apart from providing one of His own, a part of the

Holy trinity, He gave us Paul, Timothy, Peter, you

Name them, but let me bring it closer to you, See He


Gave us Jimmy so we learn how to take the kingdom

By force, Kutlo so we obey His word, Suping for guiding

Us in His path, Chris for deep understanding of who He

Is, and then Molemosi for discernment of spirits I guess

That’s why Paul said you ought to be teachers by now, the

Question then is are you a teacher? If not how many

Children have you failed, where is the evidence of gaining

Knowledge, or should I say where are the fruits? The fruits