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TERMS & CONDITIONS OF THE BURS e-Services
A. DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION
1. In these Terms and Conditions, unless the context otherwise requires-
1.1 BURS means the Botswana Unified Revenue Service;
1.2 Commissioner General means the Commissioner General of BURS or any person with the delegated authority to perform any function for and on behalf of the Commissioner General;
1.3 e-Services means the electronic services provided by the Commissioner General to Users in respect of applications for registration for the applicable tax types, the submission and processing of tax returns, the posting and delivery of tax assessments and related notices, and the provision of ancillary services associated with the payment of monies due by Users to the Commissioner General or payable to Users by the Commissioner General;
1.4 Revenue laws means the- (a) Customs and Excise Duty Act, (Cap.50.01); (b) Income Tax Act, (Cap. 52:01); (c) Capital Transfer Act, (Cap. 53:02); (d) Value Added Tax Act, (Cap. 50:03); and (e) such other legislation concerning revenue that BURS or the Commissioner General is required to administer;
1.5 Terms and Conditions means these BURS e-Services Terms and Conditions; and
1.6 User means any person who accesses and uses the BURS e-Services portal and includes any person duly authorised and mandated to act for and on behalf of the User.
B. CHANGES AND AMENDMENTS
2. BURS expressly reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to do any of the following, at any time without prior notice to the User: (a) change these Terms and Conditions; (b) change the content and/or services available from the BURS e-Services portal; (c) discontinue any aspect of the BURS e-Services portal or electronic service(s) available from the BURS e-Services portal; and/or (d) change the software and hardware required to access and use the BURS e-Services portal.
C. DISCLAIMER AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
3. To the extent permitted by law, BURS (including its employees, suppliers, Internet service providers, partners, affiliates and agents) shall not be liable for any damage, loss or liability of any nature incurred by any person and resulting from- (a) access to the BURS e-Services portal; (b) access to websites linked to the BURS e-Services portal; (c) inability to access the BURS e-Services portal; (d) content available on the BURS e-Services portal; or (e) services available from the BURS e-Services portal.
4. The BURS e-Services portal and its content are supplied without any warranty or guarantee and have not been compiled to meet the User's individual requirements. It is the responsibility of the User to satisfy himself or herself, prior to agreeing to these Terms and Conditions, that the content available from and through the BURS e-Services portal meets the User's individual requirements and is compatible with the User's computer hardware and/or software.
5. The Commissioner General and BURS makes no representations, warranties or guarantees that the BURS e-Services portal or any electronic services proffered thereby shall be accessible at all times.
5.1 The User acknowledges that the BURS e-Services portal may be inaccessible due to maintenance activities or due to circumstances beyond the reasonable control of BURS, including, but not limited to, virus infection, unauthorised access (hacking), power failure or other instances of force majeure beyond BURS' and the Commissioner Generals reasonable control.
5.2 The User acknowledges that where, for whatever reason, the e-Services portal or any electronic services proffered thereby are inaccessible, the User shall have resort to alternative and lawful processes of timeously meeting the obligations imposed on the user by the applicable Revenue laws.
D. ENTIRE AGREEMENT AND SEVERABILITY
6. These Terms and Conditions are binding and enforceable against all Users that access and make use of the BURS e-Services portal or any part thereof.
7. Any provision or clause of these Terms and Conditions which is or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any other reason whatsoever shall, only to the extent that such provision or clause is invalid, unlawful or unenforceable, be treated as pro non scripto and the remaining provisions and clauses of these Terms and Conditions shall remain of full force and effect.
E. THE USE OF THE e-Services
8. The User shall be bound by these Terms and Conditions, and the acceptance of these Terms and Conditions shall be deemed to have been made by the User in Gaborone (Botswana) immediately after the User has indicated that he or she accepts and consents to these Terms and Conditions.
9. On acceptance by the Commissioner General of the Users application to access and use the e-Services, the User shall be supplied with a password by such means and in such format as the Commissioner General may determine from time to time.
10. Following on acceptance of the Users application to access and use the e-Services by the Commissioner General, the User shall within fourteen (14) days of such acceptance furnish the Commissioner General with a printed and duly signed copy of the e-Services User Registration Form detailing the Users particulars. The User Registration Form shall be accompanied by a duly signed and stamped letter of authority, and a certified copy of a valid Botswana National Identity Card, in the case of Botswana citizens, or certified copies of valid passport and residence permit, in the case of non-citizens. The User account shall be automatically deactivated upon the expiry of the 14 days aforesaid where no valid User Registration Form has been furnished with the Commissioner General.
11. The User undertakes in favour of the Commissioner General to ensure that the user name, password, access code or other means of gaining access to the e-Services are at all times kept secure and confidential by the User.
12. The User undertakes to report any compromise or unauthorised disclosure of the user name, password, access code or other means of gaining access to the e-Services to the Commissioner General, without delay, via BURS' support desk or call centre. On receipt of the Users aforesaid notification, the Commissioner General reserves the right to suspend or deactivate the Users user name and/or password.
13. The Commissioner General may at his or her sole discretion, and for whatever reason, require any User to change their user name and/or password, and the User undertakes to unconditionally and immediately comply with such a request from the Commissioner General.
14. The User warrants to the Commissioner General that electronic communications and data messages that are sent to BURS from any computer, IP address or mobile device generally, by way of the Users assigned password, access code, signatures or other means of gaining access to the e-Services, are sent and/or authorised by the User personally.
15. Where the User authorises another person to use the e-Services on his or her behalf, the User warrants to, and in favour of the Commissioner General, that the authorised person has obtained mandate from the User.
15.1 The User shall be liable to the Commissioner General for the due and timeous fulfillment of all the obligations exacted by the applicable Revenue laws.
15.2 Any information submitted by the authorised person to the Commissioner General by means of the e-Services shall be deemed to be based on information received from the User, and the User is responsible for ensuring that such information is true and correct.
16. All electronic communications and data messages between the User and the Commissioner General and/or BURS are valid and legally binding regardless of whether security mechanisms are applied or not (e.g. electronic signatures and encryption).
17. Electronic communications and data messages addressed by the User to the Commissioner General shall be deemed to have been created and sent by the User from within the geographical boundaries of Botswana.
17.1 Electronic communications and data messages addressed by the User to the Commissioner General shall only be deemed to have been received by the Commissioner General if and when the Commissioner General responds to and/or acknowledges receipt of such electronic communications or data messages.
17.2 Electronic communications and data messages addressed to the User by the Commissioner General shall be deemed to be received by the User at the time when the electronic communications and data messages enter the facility or facilities specified by the User as point(s) where they shall receive communication from the Commissioner General for e-Services purposes, regardless of whether the User becomes aware that the electronic communications and data messages have been sent or have been actually retrieved.
18. By submitting any information to the Commissioner General and BURS by means of electronic communications and data messages, the User or his or her authorised person confirms that, to the best of their knowledge, such information is correct and complete and that it is made pursuant to the applicable Revenue laws.
19. All electronic communications and data messages addressed to the Commissioner General by Users or their authorised persons under the e-Services, are equivalent to statements made to taxation officers, whether made in an application, certificate, declaration, notification, return, objection, or other document made, prepared, given, filed, lodged, or furnished under the applicable Revenue laws and the applicable penalties and offences relating to false, inaccurate and misleading statements under the applicable Revenue laws shall apply to such electronic communications and data messages.
20. In addition to any electronic communications or data messages required from the Users or authorised persons under these Terms and Conditions, the Commissioner General reserves the authority, by a notice in writing, to require any person, whether or not a User, to furnish BURS, whether on that person's own behalf or as agent or trustee of another person, with such further or other information prescribed in the notice, including tax returns, notwithstanding that such information may have been purported to have been furnished by way of electronic communications and data messages.
21. In so far as the applicable Revenue laws require Users to retain documents, records or information, such requirement shall be deemed to have been satisfied by retaining electronic communications and data messages representing such documents, records or information, provided:
21.1 There exists reliable assurance as to the integrity of the information contained in the electronic communications and data messages and such information is accessible to the Commissioner General upon request;
21.2 The electronic communication and data message is retained in the format in which it was generated, sent or received, or in a format which can be demonstrated to represent accurately the information generated, sent or received; and
21.3 The origin and destination of the electronic communications and data messages, as well as the date and time when such electronic communications and data messages were sent or received, can be determined.
22. In case of conflict between these Terms and Conditions and the Revenue laws, the Revenue laws shall take precedence except only to the extent that the applicable Revenue laws require anything covered by these Terms and Conditions to be done in writing or to be furnished by hand-delivery or by post, in which case these Terms and Conditions shall prevail.
F. APPLICABLE LAW
23. These Terms and Conditions, including all transactions concluded on the BURS e-Services portal, and all matters arising therefrom or in connection therewith, are governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Botswana.
G. PAYMENTS AND RELATION TO BURS
24. As part of its e-Services, BURS shall co-operate with various banks or other service providers in Botswana to enable the User to make any payments due to the Commissioner General under the applicable Revenue laws and to reconcile such payments with the Users tax documents or any related electronic communication and data messages.
25. Notwithstanding clause 24 above, neither the Commissioner General nor BURS warrants nor guarantees that the bank or any service provider shall meet any obligations in law premised on the Users contractual arrangements with the applicable bank or service provider, including, but not limited to, making due and timeous payment to the Commissioner General of taxes exacted by the applicable Revenue laws. Under no circumstances whatsoever shall the Commissioner General or BURS be liable for any claims, losses or damages suffered by the User in respect of the Users contractual arrangements with the applicable banks or service providers.
H. UNAVAILABILITY OF BURS e-Services
26. The User acknowledges and accepts that the e-Services may become unavailable from time-to-time due to various circumstances, including, but not limited to: (a) Technical failures or problems with the BURS e-Services portal or with the server and computer network that support the BURS e-Services portal; (b) Infrastructure: technical problems with third party information technology systems; (c) Unavailability of telecommunications or electricity services; and (d) Other circumstances beyond the control of either the Commissioner General or BURS.
27. The User acknowledges that where, for whatever reason, the e-Services are inaccessible he or she shall have resort to alternative and lawful processes of timeously meeting the obligations imposed on him or her by the applicable Revenue laws.
28. The Commissioner General shall at all times and for whatever reason, have the sole and exclusive right to suspend or terminate the e-Services without any prior notification to the User. The Commissioner General shall be under no obligation whatsoever to provide any reason for such termination or suspension.
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