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Payment of VAT must be made within 30 days from the earlier of the date the services were received or payment was made.



The zero rate applies where the supplier has entered the goods for export in accordance with customs duty principles and the goods have been exported from Botswana by the supplier.


The supply of various services to persons who are not residents of Botswana and are not registered for VAT purposes in Botswana is zero- rated.

Refunds to foreigners

The Minister may authorise the granting of a refund to a nonresident individual where the VAT paid on goods exported by that person as accompanied baggage exceeds 500 Botswana Pula.

The Minister may authorise a refund of tax to diplomats, diplomatic missions and to persons under certain international laws and conventions.

Place, time and value of supplies

Place of supply

There are no place-of-supply rules in the Botswana VAT legislation.



rental agreement or services supplied under an agreement providing for periodic payments – successive supplies occur when a payment becomes due or is received, whichever is the earlier;

construction services paid for in instalments or periodically – successive supplies occur when a payment becomes due, is received or an invoice relating only to that payment is issued, whichever is the earlier;

token, voucher or stamp – when the token, voucher or stamp is issued;

goods removed from a VAT manufacturing warehouse, or services rendered by an international financial services centre company – when the goods are removed from the warehouse or when the services are rendered;

forfeiture of deposit (other than a deposit on a returnable container) – when the deposit is forfeited;

immovable property – when the transfer deed is registered with the Registrar of Deeds or when payment is received, whichever is the earlier; and

an electrical connection under the Botswana Power Corporation’s Rural Electrification Scheme or housing by the Botswana Housing Corporation under the Tenant Purchase Scheme, pursuant to a hire-purchase agreement – when payment is due or is made under that agreement, whichever is the earlier.

Time of supply

The general rule is that a supply of goods or services occurs when:

  • an invoice for the supply is issued by the supplier; or

  • any payment for the supply is received,

whichever is the earlier.

Under some of the specific rules, the time of the supply is as follows:

  • related persons – when goods are removed or made available, or when services are performed, unless the time of supply has already taken place in accordance with the general rule;

  • credit agreement – when the goods are delivered or the time any payment for the supply is received, whichever is the earlier;

  • lay-by agreement – when the goods are delivered to the purchaser;

  • change of use – when the goods or services (acquired for taxable use) are transferred to a non-taxable activity;

  • repossession of goods under credit agreement – when the goods are repossessed or the day after the last day of any period during which the debtor may be reinstated;

  • machine, meter or other device operated by coin, note or token

    • when the coin, note or token is taken from the machine, meter or other device by or on behalf of the supplier;

  • goods or services supplied to a branch or main business outside Botswana – when the goods are delivered to, or the services performed for, the branch or main business;

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