By: Mpho Shelile

Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL) announced additional requirements and documents discussing South African tax invoices on equipment, business stock, and secondhand vehicles coming into the country through various border gates, at a conference held at their premises on the 1st of November.   

When addressing the media, the acting Commissioner of Client Services, Dr. Tseko Nyesemane said the new process aims to enhance transparency and compliance in cross-border tax matters. It is said that RSL’s recent announcement regarding RSA tax invoice declarations represents a significant step towards modernizing the tax system, increasing transparency, and enhancing Lesotho’s revenue collection, but all should bear in mind that all the introduced requirements do not cancel the existing ones.

Moreover, Dr. Tseko informed that regarding commercial goods, a person who files a claim on behalf of the business owner must attach the authorization letter clearly stating that they are representing that business and are claiming on behalf of the business.

He noted that these additional requirements are to ensure that they curb tax fraud for both countries and those involved in cross-border trade with South Africa. Business owners need to familiarize themselves with the updated requirements.

The purpose of the declaration is to inform SARS of the change in tax residency that will impact the basis on which you will be subject to tax in South Africa and how your returns will be assessed going forward. The year in which you have ceased to be a tax resident may also result in a possible deemed capital gains tax disposal depending on the type of assets you held and where they are located at the time.

Dr. Nyesemane said the RSA Tax Invoice Declaration is an essential component of Lesotho’s tax collection system, saying it is designed to ensure that businesses and individuals accurately report and pay their levies on goods and services imported from South Africa.

Also speaking, the Deputy Commissioner of Customs Northern Region, Mr. Tebello Makhechane during the press conference explained the updated requirements for declaring RSA tax invoices. He highlighted the importance of these changes in simplifying the declaration process while maintaining high accuracy and transparency.

Mr. Makhechane said the requirements are terms and conditions that a claim should have when it is submitted, noting that the announced changes have been there by agreement between RSL and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) however not enforced since risks of tax fraud did not warrant for them to apply, but lately fraud risks are higher. He advised all Basotho to follow this requirement to avoid unnecessary trouble, adding that the system might have been a bit slower in the past but that is all going to change, “The Revenue Service Lesotho is committed to making this transition as smooth as possible, and its staff will be available to answer questions and provide guidance throughout the process,” Makhechane continued.

Regarding individual claims amounting to over M250, a person claiming must provide a photocopy of a passport and a copy of entry and departure from South Africa. Adding it is recommended that clients purchasing imported second-hand cars from S.A should urge sellers to assist in transporting them to Lesotho to prevent fraud and further accomplish every tax invoice of staff.

He further mentioned that car claims should be registered in Lesotho and have certificates so that they attach a copy of those to the claims.

According to the RSL, it is important to have a good understanding of a used car’s history before making a purchase. Potential buyers should gather as much information as possible about the vehicle they are interested in, focusing on important factors such as, properly documenting the sale is essential to avoid future legal and tax complications. Ensure you complete all the required paperwork, including the change of ownership forms, and keep transaction records.