LRA misses target

LRA misses target

MASERU-THE Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) missed its target by 9.2 percent in the 2017/2018 financial year. Commissioner General Thabo Khasipe told a press conference last week that the combined annual revenue target for the 2017/18 financial year was M6.597 billion.

“Against this target, the LRA remitted M5.989 billion and therefore missed the combined annual target by M607.38 million (9.2 percent),” Khasipe said. The tax collection is composed of collections from Income Tax and Value Added Tax. While the VAT annual target was M2.362 billion, VAT remittances stood at M2.414 billion, exceeding the target by M51.34 million, a 2.17 percent.

“I therefore wish to express my appreciation to the effort and commitment shown by the entire LRA family towards what we have remitted to the government,” Khasipe said. But he admitted the performance could have been better.

He said the LRA was launching new strategies to turn around its fortunes in the next financial year. “We missed the target by 6.7 percent last financial year and we have missed again with a bigger margin,” he said. “We will need the support of everyone as we implement the new strategy and working together, we will succeed. We have no option but to mobilise these resources for our country to develop.”

Khasipe said the LRA was launching the Filing Season Campaign to encourage people to prepare their tax records, prepare tax payments and fill in their Income Tax return forms before the June 30 deadline. The filing season had coincided with the launch of the LRA’s five-year strategic plan covering 2018-2023.

“The new strategy is a direct product of a strategic shift the LRA is embarking upon in its endevour to continuously improve the services we provide to our clientele,” Khasipe said.

He said the LRA had since launched a number of initiatives to improve tax collection such as the Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) and the Simplified Business Tax (SBT) programme.

He urged Basotho to file their tax returns and pay their tax at commercial banks or at the LRA’s banking hall. Khasipe said the LRA will soon embark on a number of initiatives to remind people “to pay their tax obligations, to provide tax education and to encourage them to do the right thing by filing and paying on time”.

Such measures will include door-to-door visits to companies to encourage them to pay their tax and assist them with the filing of tax forms. They also want to “ensure that they have a general appreciation of the Lesotho tax system and the role they should play as individual taxpayers”.

“We invite everyone, individuals and businesses, to take responsibility for a fresh start. It is the right thing to do. Paying your taxes is not only your legal obligation but is also the right thing to do,” he said.

Tokase Mphutlane

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