Aerial panorama of Gaborone city the capital of Botswana


  • Government
  • Real-Time Economy
  • Tax Administration 3.0

Case study May 26th, 2017

Declare taxes in 5 minutes in Botswana

A few years ago Joseph had to queue for hours – sometimes even the whole day – at the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) to file his tax returns. Today, it takes him 5 minutes thanks to an online tax system.

Nortal Botswana tax system


Tax management was time-consuming and expensive

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. He had to take the 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 him up to 150 US dollars every time.

As a private person, Joseph 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.

Batswana were not satisfied with their tax services and the tax gap was too big. Something had to be done.


An easy-to-use online platform

The solution was simple. An online platform where both legal and private persons can receive tax-related information and declare their taxes.

Instead of a huge pile of paperwork that Joseph and others had to submit to BURS, Joseph can now just log in to the BURS portal with his username. The portal is easy to use: a novice user will take about 10 minutes to file their taxes, but an experienced user is in and out of the system in less than 5 minutes.


It now takes about five minutes to file and pay your taxes in Botswana.


Taxpayers no longer need tax agents and save up to 150USD per tax form.


Users have access to the BURS online platform 24 hours a day, every day.


Better use of time

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 more than happy with the new solution: paying taxes is not his favorite pastime, but the online platform has made it so much easier for him. And the time that has been freed up can be invested into building his company and creating new jobs.


Transforming governments, transforming societies

The right digital tools applied properly can dramatically transform citizen-government interaction, changing the way societies work.

A digitally-enabled government is citizen-centric, proactively meeting needs when it comes to social security and taxation. It literally changes the way citizens interact with and experience their government.

Find out more

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