By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU- The Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL)

has announced plans to introduce an e-invoicing system, as a step towards modernizing and improving the effectiveness of Value Added Tax (VAT) administration.

This RSL has said in a statement  recently.

“RSL is pleased to announce significant progress in the development of its electronic invoicing system (E-invoicing solution), which was initiated in January 2024. The project, which is a cornerstone of RSL’s modernization efforts , aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of VAT administration in Lesotho,” reads the RSL statement.

It continues: “The solution will deliver broad benefits to both RSL and the business community,  such as streamlining processes to minimize instances of non-compliance, making VAT return processes more efficient through pre-populated forms, simplifying the verification process for VAT refunds, decreasing the overall size of VAT-related debt, reducing the costs associated with VAT administration for both RSL and businesses and conducting more informed and targeted audits, thereby reducing the need for comprehensive audits”.

RSL Commissioner-General ‘Mathabo Mokoko previously announced its investment in e-tax solutions to save taxpayers time and traveling  expenses to RSL offices while enhancing its systems for maximizing revenue collection. This initiative has been endorsed by the Finance Minister and Development Planning Dr Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane who said there is a need to introduce digitised platforms within RSL.

According to the RSL, the invoicing solution aims to achieve several objectives by 2026. These goals include increasing the average VAT-to-GDP ratio from 8% to 11%, raising the average VAT contribution to total revenue from 40% to 50%, reducing the volume of VAT-related debt, and boosting VAT registration. Specifically, the plan is to grow the average VAT registration rate from 11% to 15%.

RSL said it “is committed to driving economic growth and improving the business environment in Lesotho through innovative solutions like e-invoicing”.

Currently, RSL is engaging stakeholders to gather input and ensure a smooth implementation of the new system. It envisages the system will be launched in October later this year.

Formerly Lesotho Revenue Authority(LRA), RSL was established through Act No. 14 of 2001. It is amongst others mandated to “enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the revenue collection”.