How to Calculate Pay as You Earn in Botswana

A pay-as-you-earn tax, or pay-as-you-go in Australia, is a withholding of taxes on income payments to employees. Amounts withheld are treated as advance payments of income tax due. They are refundable to the extent they exceed tax as determined on tax returns.

It is a tax deducted from an employee’s income and is paid by an employer on behalf of the employee. The tax is charged on all income of an individual in employment, whether it is received in cash or in kind.

An employer is obliged to deduct tax from remuneration paid to his employees in accordance with and in the manner specified in the Fifth Schedule of the Income Tax Act and shall carry out such other obligations as are imposed by that schedule (section 56). This form of withholding is what is commonly referred to as the PAYE system of withholding. Remuneration includes:

1. Salaries, wages, bonus, allowances;

2. Commission, pension, lump sum payments;

3. Commutation of amounts under a contract of employment; and

4. Non-cash benefits to an employee. Non-cash benefits include the following employer incurred expenses on behalf of the employee:

  • School fees
  • Utilities
  • Motor vehicles
  • Housing
  • Furniture and furnishings
  • Interest free and concessionary interest loans
  • Shares at lower than market values and
  • Any other benefit in kind.
  • Valuation of such benefits is as prescribed in Part IIITax Tables and Guidance notes

Employer requirements

1. Registration

The registration process for PAYE is an extension of the registration for income tax.  An employer who has employee(s) must register for PAYE.  The person must indicate the tax type for which he/she is registering. Notice will be sent to inform them of their new TIN for PAYE.

2. Submission of Monthly remittance

An employer with employees earning employment income above the taxable threshold (P2500 per month) must deduct tax and remit it to BURS. The rate of tax applied depends on the amount of the employee’s income, as outlined in Tax Tables and Guidance notes. The precribed form used for tax deducted from employee’s remuneration  is Monthly remittance return for PAYE (ITW 7A). It must be accompanied by remittance slip(rem 2) which is available at BURS and a cheque. For payment procedures, see Payments

3. Submission of annual return

Every employer is required to submit an annual return within 31 days after the end of the tax year showing;

a) details of the employer  and totals of tax deducted and paid to the Commissioner General in form ITW10(PAYE) – Annual Withholding tax return for PAYE

b) List of employees and all details pertaining to PAYE (ITW 10A), and

c) Copy of tax certificate (ITW8) indicating tax deducted in respect of each employee.

4. Issuance of Tax Certificate to an Employee

All employees whose tax was deducted must be issued with a tax certificate within 31 days after the end of the tax year. Any employee who have not received a certificate within the specified time must apply to the employer for such certificate to be furnished to him/her and if it is not furnished within a further 15 days notification has to be sent to the Commissioner General for further action.

Application for variation on employment income

Variation from tax rates specified in the Act may be done in respect of employment income. Application is made by an employee to increase or decrease tax in a particular tax year as a result of;

  • change of employment – this will ensure that the correct tax is deducted on income from different employment. An employee must bring a tax certificate from the previous employer to ensure the correct tax is calculated;
  • More than one source of income – Increase tax deducted from employee remuneration to reduce personal  tax liability at the end of the year;
  • Private contribution to an approved superannuation fund. Such contribution is tax deductible and it will reduce the tax liability of the employee; or
  • Starting employment in the middle of the tax year.

The prescribed form used is Form ITW5. If approved, the Commissioner General will respond to such application by issuing a Withholding Tax Directive (ITW 4A), instructing the employer how much to deduct from that particular employee.

How do you calculate PAYE?

The following steps are involved in calculating PAYE:

  1. Step 1: Calculate the year-to-date taxable income.
  2. Step 2: Calculate the annual equivalent.
  3. Step 3: Calculate the tax on the annual equivalent.
  4. Step 4: Determine the projected annual tax liability.
  5. Step 5: De-annualise the annual tax liability.

How much is the PAYE tax in Botswana?


Taxable income bracketThe tax rate on income in the bracket
From BWPTo BWPPercent
072,0005.00% over BWP0
72,001108,00012.50% over BWP72,000
108,001144,00018.75% over BWP108,000

Is PAYE calculated on gross or net salary?

For individuals, gross income is the sum of all wages, salaries, profits, interest payments, rents, and other forms of earnings, before any deductions or taxes. The PAYE calculated as a result is based on the employee’s earnings and includes basic salaries, bonuses, fringe benefits, and other allowances.

How much percent is PAYE tax?

How is PAYE worked out? If you earn over the personal allowance pay cap, you’ll be charged 20%, 40%, or 45% of your earnings, depending on whether you fall under a basic rate, higher rate, or additional rate tax band. This is determined based on your annual income.

How do I calculate monthly PAYE?

To calculate PAYE an employer should multiply an employee’s taxable earnings (which include any fringe benefits such as Disability Benefit Contributions etc.) by 52 weeks, 26 weeks, or 12 months (depending on how often they get paid) to get an annual amount.