THE Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) is set to host an expo for various stakeholders to share views on how tax administration, policy and tax laws could be leveraged as instruments of economic development.
The expo, which is to be hosted by the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) at the ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre on 4 and 5 December 2018, aims to provide a platform for all stakeholders and clients “to discuss and make inputs into tax policy formulation and tax administration with a view to unlock the potential of both tax policy and administration as drivers of economic growth and development”.
The initiative is in line with LRA strategy, Rea Aha, which calls for greater collaboration with stakeholders and clients.
LRA’s public relations manager Pheello Mphana this week told media practitioners that the expo is inspired by the growing challenge of government to mobilise resources to finance its development agenda.
“The current regional economic challenges, manifested by volatile and generally declining SACU revenues, underscore the need for our country to do a much better job of domestic resource mobilisation to finance the much-needed development expenditure,” Mr Mphana said.
“Over and above the well-known and indeed crucial, mandate of collecting tax revenue for the government, the authority is also mandated by parliament to advise the government on tax policy.
“The logic of this mandate seems to be that in carrying out its primary tax administration work, the authority is exposed to the realities of the impact of policy to all facets of the economy. As such, this mandate facilitates a feedback loop between tax administration, on the one hand, and policy and legislation on the other.
“To that end, the authority deemed it fit to arrange a tax expo wherein all relevant stakeholders can share their views on how tax administration, policy and tax laws could be leveraged as instruments of economic development.”
He said the initiative which is scheduled at the beginning of the annual fiscal planning cycle, seeks to enable a conversation that will inform the authority’s advice to the Ministry of Finance as the ministry decides on its tax policy priorities in the next year.
Deliberations will also provide the authority with feedback on how it discharges the tax administration function that it has been entrusted with, which includes suggesting appropriate legislative amendments.
The Expo, dubbed “Lekhetho khotla”, will this year focus on the role of taxation in tackling Lesotho’s current economic development challenges.
The Expo will, among other issues, cover the following themes: Lesotho Fiscal Policy and the Role of Taxation; Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS); Safeguarding Lesotho’s Tax Base by Curbing Illicit Financial Flows; Sharing Economic Rent in the Extractive Industry; Deepening the Role of Tax Agents in Enhancing Tax Compliance; Building a Culture of Voluntary Compliance in Lesotho.