LRA to host second tax expo

LRA to host second tax expo

MASERU – THE Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA)’s second tax expo that is set for next Wednesday will include a discussion on building a culture of voluntary compliance.

The LRA spokesman, Pheello Mphana, said the country is already on a downward spiral as far as compliance is concerned.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Mphana said if they can let that lawlessness to persist, the country’s woes will deepen.
Mphana said they realised that some of the policies which are made by the public sector have a direct bearing on the private sector so it would be important to involve them in the discussions.

Mphana said the discussions come at a time when the government is preparing for the next budget.
“When the budget is being presented, the policies change so as to give the government advice relating to tax issues,” he said.
He said their role as the LRA is to collect tax aligning themselves with the three laws which are income tax, customs and excise and Value Added Tax (VAT).
“The other role of the LRA is to manage the borders and to facilitate trade,” he said, adding that they also advise the government with policies relating to tax.

Mphana said they established new policies in 2018 so as to build a service culture through the collaborative leadership.
This new policy, he said, provides a major shift in strategy.
He said the LRA was also engaged in the establishment of Voluntary Disclosure Programme, Simplified Business Taxation and Tax Lottery so as to incentivise people to pay tax.

He said in December last year, they established a tax expo for the first time where other relevant stakeholders were involved in the discussion for the issues which are related to tax collection.
“So for this year, the discussion for tax expo will include national reforms and taxation and how Lesotho can derive the greatest benefits from the mining sector,’’ he said.

Mphana said the discussion will include attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the role of taxation in promoting entrepreneurship in Lesotho and building a culture of voluntary compliance in Lesotho.
He said the voluntary compliance in Lesotho will not only include tax laws but every law in the country.
“If people fail to keep the basic laws, how can we expect them to comply with tax law?’’ he asked.

Mphana said after the tax expo event, recommendations will be drafted and submitted to the government where the LRA will be providing the government with advice on tax issues.
Players at the expo will include the public sector comprising the executive, legislature and judiciary.

Other participants will come from the private sector comprising captains of industry, business associations and the members while others will be from non-governmental organisations and academia.
“Other interested people are invited but due to logistics, they are requested to call (the following) numbers, 52215012 or 69097494,’’ he said.

Refiloe Mpobole


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