Business

LRA ups tax lottery stakes

Bereng Mpaki

LESOTHO Revenue Authority (LRA) has increased the number of cars to be won for this year’s tax lottery initiative to five from the initial one.

Last year, the winner of the tax lottery walked away with a brand new Toyota bakkie and this year the authority says it will hand out five cars to five winners.

The lottery was introduced during the 2017/18 financial year to promote tax compliance among small to medium enterprises who have been found to be less compliant than their larger enterprises.

The competition considers taxpayers who file and pay their taxes between the beginning of April until the end of May. This is meant to encourage taxpayers to file their returns earlier and move away from the 30 June deadline to reduce congestion.

The initiative was introduced on the back of less than impressive financial performances from the organisation which in the 2016/17 financial year, missed its revenue collection target by M400 million, while it also missed the target again by around M607 million in 2017/18.

Non- compliance was cited as one of the major causes for the organisation’s failure to meet its target in the 2016/17 and 2017/2019 financial years.

The initiative also came at a time when the organisation was changing its heavy handedness in compliance enforcement to a friendlier approach as part of its new long-term strategy, Rea Aha that is running from 2018 to 2023.

Since implementation of the new strategy, which also included the introduction of new initiatives such as the Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) and the Small business Tax (SBT), the organisation has met its revenue collection target for the 2018/19 financial year.

LRA’s public relations manager Pheelo Mphana this week indicated that they were seeing the positive impact of the lottery in terms of encouraging more compliance.

“As a result of the lottery, we have observed an improvement in compliance among small and medium enterprises,” Mr Mphana said yesterday.

The organisation met with the media practitioners for a regular update on the progress it is making towards implementing its new business strategy.

Mr Mphana indicated that preparations for this year’s lottery draw are at an advanced stage.

He said a preliminary draw has already been down that has resulted in 25 finalists who will then enter the grand draw from which the eventual five winners will be revealed.

“The grand draw is scheduled for 13 July 2019.”

He added that the pre-recorded preliminary draw that led to cutting down of potential winners to 25 would be aired on Lesotho Television on the evening of 10 July.

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