LRA to offer online tax certification

NEO SENOKO

MASERU – Are you tax complaint and up-to-date with your returns? Then you may be one of those lucky ones whose stress burden on their tax clearances will be lifted. Clients who have paid tax are the only ones who will benefit through the online Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) likely to be introduced early next year by the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA).

This, the authority is doing to encourage and increase the level of compliance in the country. The LRA is currently engaging different stakeholders to solicit input towards the development of the initiative as part of the authority’s strategic objective to expand service delivery channels.

Another objective of the engagement sessions includes gathering inputs and requirements from relevant stakeholders and understanding the challenges that the clients face on a daily basis in their operations in order to come up with a solution that will best address their challenges.

“Once we have a solution that has taken the concerns of the stakeholders into consideration, it goes without saying that all stakeholders will be guided accordingly on how to make use of such a solution. Various options will be considered in doing this,” the LRA Public Relations Manager, Pheello Mphana stated in an interview with Public Eye on Tuesday this week.

One of the milestones of the new LRA strategy is expansion of service channels which will help increase compliance levels among clients and will, in turn, improve collections while at the same time driving towards significantly slashing the cost of revenue collection by the tax authority.

“This initiative is one of many others intended to improve the LRA service offering which will also help reduce the cost of compliance on the part of the client while it also reduces cost of collection,” Mphana added. While the initiative is expected to address the challenge of long queues and waiting period for clearance certificates, the LRA’s Public and Media Relations Specialist, Tšepang Mncina emphasised that the new technology will not affect the manual processing of the TCC, adding, “clients will still come to our offices to receive their certificates.”

The online TTC is envisaged to offer the self-service opportunity for clients when it comes to the online TTC verification to the clients, printing the TCC online as well as capabilities to verify and download TCC using mobile applications. “This will go a long way in reducing the high cost of collection as well as reducing long queues at the LRA offices and we are hoping to launch the initiative by the end of January next year,” Mncina added.

The engagement sessions have already been held in all the 10 districts of the country where district business associations and government ministries were also invited to share their views and ideas on the initiative. According to Mncina, this solution is actually long overdue given the excitement demonstrated by the majority of people who have attended the sessions.

The LRA has recently unveiled its new five-year strategy which promises to engage more with its clients in order to improve service delivery and maximise compliance among all taxpayer categories at a reasonable cost to both the taxpayer and the country.

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