LRA boss calls for voluntary compliance

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Bereng Mpaki

LESOTHO Revenue Authority (LRA) Commissioner General Thabo Khasipe has emphasised the importance of voluntary tax compliance saying tax enables the government to deliver services to the public.

Mr Khasipe said this at a recent grand draw for the LRA’s tax lottery, where five taxpayers each walked away with a brand-new Nissan NP200 van.

The tax lottery is a tax compliance management tool aimed at improving voluntary compliance particularly among small and medium enterprises by encouraging them to file and pay income tax dues early. The lottery is further intended to motivate and reward compliant behaviour.

Since its introduction during the 2017/18 financial year, the LRA has reported significant improvement in tax compliance levels among small and medium enterprises.

The lottery was eligible for taxpayers who filed their income tax returns and paid taxes before the end of May 2019 for the 2018/19 financial year.

Addressing winners at the end of the grand draw at Maseru Mall last Saturday, Mr Khasipe said paying tax gives citizens the right to public service delivery.

“It is our fervent wish as the LRA to see income tax returns being filed and due taxes being paid on time without taxpayers being coerced in any way to be compliant,” Mr Khasipe said.

He said people who fail to pay tax have no right to complain about lack of service delivery from government institutions.

“If you do not pay tax, you don’t have the right to complain about poor service delivery from the government. I therefore urge all of you to declare all the profits that you earn and go on to pay all the different types of taxes expected of you.”

Mr Khasipe congratulated the winners and implored them to be ambassadors of the LRA and tax compliance in their communities.

“Please go on and spread the word on being tax compliant as it is the right thing to do for the benefit of development of this country in different sectors.”

One of the winners, Paseka Putsoane from Lithabaneng in Maseru, said the win came as a surprise. Mr Putsoane is an entrepreneur operating in the public transport industry.

“I am out of words to express how I feel right now. I am just overjoyed.

“As a cab driver with just one vehicle, I just cannot believe that I have won a brand-new car,” Mr Putsoane said.

Maputsoe based retailer Vaseem Mohmed said he was happy to win the vehicle adding that his was a tough journey.

“My wife and I run a small company that distributes snacks. We started small and there was a time when business was bad and we were on the verge of closing shop and to survive we had to cash in our pension.

“We nearly gave up and there was a lady from the LRA who would always call me to remind me that I had fallen behind on my filing. It wasn’t easy but we did it anyway,” Mr Mohmed said.

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