2020 PROPERTY TRANSFER ACT EMPOWERS BATSWANA TO OWN HOMES

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Property transfer Act provides for instances in which citizens will be wholly exempt from paying Duty. It also increases the exemption amount due to citizens from P 200, 000 to P 500, 000 when computing the Duty payable.

A citizen shall be exempt from paying any Duty in the below mentioned scenarios: where a citizen of Botswana purchases or acquires a residential property for the first time to be used as his own home, such person shall be exempt from the payment of Duty; where an individual citizen of Botswana transfers immovable property to a company owned 100% by that individual or jointly with their spouse (married in community of property); where a company is 100% owned by an individual citizen of Botswana or jointly with their spouse (in community of property), transfers the immovable property to that individual or their spouse; where a transaction involves donations of immovable property to eligible beneficiaries as provided for under the Income Tax Act.

The above listed exemptions shall apply proactively, and for a citizen rely on these qualifications, he must apply to the CG for such an exemption. If accepted, the CG will issue a certificate of approval for exemption, which certificate would have to be presented to the Deeds Registry (“Deeds”) to enable it to affect the transfer.

A major change is the transfer of the responsibility to collect Duty from Deeds to the CG. The office of the CG will, from the commencement date of these amendments, be responsible for issuing payments certificates and sending them to Deeds as proof of Duty having been paid.

This involves significant changes in relation to Duty payable on the transfer of immovable property.

It is important to be aware of these changes prior to entering into any property transactions. The Bill has been passed and now being in enforcement effect from 1st March,2020

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