Joseph, an average business owner in Botswana, used to struggle a lot when it came to filing his company’s VAT returns at Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS). He had to take a whole day off from his business and stand in line at a BURS office to submit the paperwork. The whole process was even more labored as the tax forms were complicated, and he had to use the help of a tax agent who charged Joseph up to 150 US dollars. As a private person, he faced the same kind of problem when he had to file his annual income tax returns and pay his tax. Standing in line for hours after paying a tax agent to help him fill out the forms made Joseph furious. People at BURS were not happy either; it was clear that Batswana were not satisfied with their services and the tax gap was too big. Something had to be done.
As a solution, Nortal built an online platform for BURS where both legal and private persons can declare and receive information on everything concerning their taxes. Instead of a huge pile of paperwork that Joseph and others had to submit to BURS, and paying tax agents to make sense of things, Joseph can now just log in to the BURS portal with his username. The portal is easy to use: for a rookie, it takes about 10 minutes to file their taxes, but an experienced user is in and out of the system in less than 5 minutes.
For BURS, this has freed up valuable man-hours: people who were stuck filing paperwork can now put more focus on creating better services and more seamless processes for the people of Botswana. Joseph is most definitely happy with the new solution: paying taxes is not his favorite pastime, but at least it’s now made so much easier for him. And the time that has been freed up can be invested into building his company and creating new jobs.