MASERU — The Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) will next month introduce a new system for taxpayers to file their tax returns.
Under the new system taxpayers can make their payments at FNB, Nedbank Lesotho and Standard Bank branches around the country.
In the past return forms were paid only at LRA offices and sub accountancies in the country.
The LRA said the new system of payment will benefit small and medium businesses that use cash or cheques to pay for their taxes.
It will cover Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxes.
The revenue authority held a special workshop on Friday to introduce the system and educate taxpayers about its benefits.
LRA’s manager for taxpayer educa-tion Sepiriti Letsatsi said the system would make it easier for clients to comply with the requirement and pay their taxes.
“In the past, return forms were submitted only at LRA offices and sub accountancies in the country. Now it will be possible for taxpayers to pay and file their tax returns at any FNB, Nedbank Lesotho and Standard bank branches around the country,” Letsatsi said.
He said it is now less expensive to pay taxes for businesses far away from the LRA offices.
“Now they can go to the nearest bank in their area and make their payments.
“The compliance costs were high hence it was expensive to pay tax, due to additional costs such as transport to LRA offices and other costs that people incurred,” Letsatsi said.
He said the objective is to encourage clients to pay their taxes voluntarily.
The system was first introduced as a pilot project in Botha-Bothe, Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka and Qacha’s Nek.
“This was first introduced in the highlands as a pilot project and it proved to be a success.
“We are now introducing it to the rest of the country,” said Letsatsi.
The system will be launched on September 8.
The taxpayer will pay at the bank and leave a return at the same branch.
“In the past the taxpayer had to pay at the bank and then go to LRA offices to get a receipt. This made it hard for taxpayers to comply and it was a bit expensive for LRA since we had to deploy officers when the tax season arrived,” Letsatsi said.
LRA has its headquarters in Maseru and two regional advice centres in Leribe and one in Mohale’s Hoek.
Letsatsi said the new system will mostly benefit taxpayers in other districts where there are no LRA offices.