MASERU — The Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) on Tuesday began holding one-day workshops to explain the self-assessment system adopted by the revenue authority in 2004.
The self-assessment system has faced serious problems of non-compliance from the business sector over the years.
The revenue authority said it hoped the outreach programme will enhance voluntary compliance by business.
LRA education officer, `Mamphotleng Mahao, said the workshops will seek to sensitise taxpayers about the self-assessment system.
“Businesses are supposed to fill in their tax returns at the end of the financial year.
“We are holding these workshops in order to sensitise taxpayers and help them reduce mistakes when filling the tax return forms,” Mahao said.
Mahao said the self-assessment system helps businesses keep their own tax records.
She said it was a legal requirement for all businesses to submit their tax returns at the end of the financial year which ends on March 31.
“A business is given three months after the end of the financial year to comply.
“However if a business fails to submit (tax returns) within that time it becomes liable for an additional three percent tax which will be compounded monthly,” she said.
Mahao said the attitude towards paying tax had improved significantly among Basotho in recent years.
“We have realised that the attitude towards paying tax has improved (significantly) as more people become knowledgeable about their tax obligations,” she said.
Mahao said the workshops were targeted at “every business person and those who would like to venture into business”.
She said prospective business people needed to appreciate how “the self-assessment system works as well as other tax requirements even before they venture into business”.
The self-assessment system was first proposed in 1993 but was only implemented 11 years later in 2004.
The system allows tax-payers to fulfil their tax liabilities on their own without visiting LRA offices.
“There are still however a few cases where the LRA has to compute the tax liability if the businesses fail to comply and meet their tax obligations,” Mahao said.