LRA wants tax for foreign registered motor vehicles

MASERU — The Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) wants all owners of foreign-registered motor vehicles to start paying taxes.

LRA commissioner of customs excise, Thabo Moleko, told a press conference on Tuesday that an increasing number of foreign-registered vehicles were crowding the country’s roads.

Most of them were not paying the appropriate taxes such as import duty and value added tax (VAT) and it is high time they start doing so.

VAT is charged at 14 percent.

“We are seeing more cars from Botswana, Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa on our roads.“Most of these cars have not paid their taxes like VAT and duties in the case of Mozambique and other countries that are not members of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu),” Moleko said.

He said LRA customs officers were already capturing information so that such vehicles can start paying taxes.

Only cars whose owners come to stay in Lesotho permanently will not pay taxes, he added. “The information captured by the Customs Department will reveal if the owner is just visiting or if they are here to stay.

“If they come to stay then they will be expected to pay taxes on the vehicles like it is done with other imported goods.”

Owners are expected to produce invoices for their vehicles so that accurate calculations are made on the amounts of tax to be paid.

“Car dealers that import cars should produce tax invoices while individuals should pay their taxes at the point of entry,” Moleko said.

He appealed to owners of foreign-registered vehicles who are already in the country to come forward and pay due taxes.

“It is everybody’s responsibility to pay taxes for their cars. We know that not all vehicle owners are complying with the law, resulting in the Authority failing to collect enough from taxes.”

Moleko said senior government officials who own foreign-registered vehicles should lead by example by paying tax.

“We will go on a hunt for foreign-registered vehicle owners who are dodging paying taxes,” he added.

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