LRA, banks sign tax filing deal

MASERU –– Two local banks have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) allowing taxpayers to fill in their tax returns at the banks.

Nedbank Lesotho and First National Bank (FNB) signed the agreement at Maseru Sun Cabanas yesterday.

This brings the number of banks under the scheme to three after Standard Lesotho Bank signed a similar agreement with the LRA last year.

With the new arrangement taxpayers are now able to fill in their Value Added Tax and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax returns at the three banks throughout the country.

The commissioner of taxpayer services at the LRA, Maleshoane Morakabi, said the authority will introduce more areas of co-operation for the convenience of taxpayers in Lesotho.

Morakabi said taxpayers are now in a better position to comply with their tax obligations as it was now more convenient to do so.

“The environment we are living in today is changing so rapidly and requires all of us to be well equipped to tackle problems of the day and be prepared for future changes,” Morakabi said.

She said the LRA wants to improve service delivery to taxpayers by endeavouring to reduce their tax compliance costs.

Puleng Lebitsa, the chief executive of the Lesotho Institute of Accountants, said her organisation was working closely with the LRA to help businesses comply with their tax requirements.

“All businesses whether small, medium or big make use of accountants for their tax computations and to comply with their tax obligations,” Lebitsa said.

She said it was important for businesses to work with registered accountants since they are bound by the organisation to adhere to the rules and regulations in taxation matters.

LRA commissioner general, Thabo Letjama, said the co-operation between the revenue authority and banks was one way of meeting the demands of taxpayers.

“This collaboration of LRA, FNB, Nedbank Lesotho and Standard Lesotho Bank will make it easier for our clients to comply with their tax obligations.

“Taxpayers will have complied with their tax obligations by doing what they have always been doing, which is banking,” said Letjama.

FNB chief executive Trevor Holtman said his bank was committed to ensure the project succeeds.

“This is a start, and we fully commit ourselves to this co-operation. As a young bank in Lesotho we as FNB are positioning ourselves to help our clients in any possible way,” Holtman said.

His counterpart at Nedbank Lesotho, Lazarus Murahwa, said: “We are pleased that this move caters for the small to medium businesses which are not using modern technology like internet to meet their tax obligations.”

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