By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL) now notes a boost in revenue collection. This, the Commissioner – General ‘Mathabo Mokoko says during the tabling of the national revenue performance report for the financial year 2023/2024.

RSL collected M8.87 billion in taxes, representing a 12.5% increase in revenue collection. This improvement is M0.91 billion against the M9.78 billion target set by the government, a 9.3% gap.

Over 1 000 new taxpayer registrations have been documented, mostly in agriculture, retail and construction sectors.

The increase is a result of strategic projects RSL implemented to enhance for the purpose of enhancing collection goal achievement. These include increasing online platforms to where 90% of returns for almost all tax types were submitted and, offering free access to online platforms.

The 9.3% gap owes to refund claims from mines. Apart from unsatisfactory performance, RSL continues to refund claims through mines.

RSL is exempted from remitting the value added tax (VAT). It has since appealed to lawmakers to expedite tax reforms that will increase tax charges to different sectors of the public.

She says: “We have been operating in an environment which has, by far, been one of the most challenging years. It was anticipated that economic growth would recover from global shocks. However in vain.”

The Commissioner-General urges taxpayers to comply with tax regulations, emphasizing the importance of tax contributions in improving the country’s economy.

“We were encouraged by an increase in good compliance behavior by our taxpayers for which we are profoundly grateful.

Overall, we saw more people, filing their tax returns and making payments on those returns and making those payments on time.

“However, we were concerned with non-compliance by some sectors. We have come to see more isolated incidents of some Taxpayers deliberately devising schemes to evade tax and defraud the Government of Lesotho of its revenue,” she says.

“Tax evasion denies the Government of Lesotho to build much needed infrastructure, provide medicine at hospitals, provide better pensions for the elderly, and send more students to universities and to create jobs for the youth among other things.”

The Commissioner-General appeals to the nation to collaborate with RSL towards building a better Lesotho through honoring tax obligations.  

Taxes are the lifeblood of a nation, crucial for constructing and upholding infrastructure and, delivering essential services to citizens. They are a source of income for the country, vital for the smooth functioning of governance affairs.

Tax filing season period: April 1 to June 30th.