RSL holds clinics to educate Basotho on improved tax filing



MASERU – The Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL) has launched a series of tax workshops aimed at educating Basotho on the updated and more flexible methods of filing taxes. These workshops are designed to help taxpayers in different sectors effectively complete their Income Tax Return Forms.

The workshops began in Berea on April 23, 2024, focusing on general businesses. Subsequently, it took place in the Maseru district from the 24th to the 30th of April 2024, catering to sectors such as retail, wholesale, commercial farming, properties, construction, hospitality, professional services, cleaning, catering, security, and media.

The workshops covered areas such as basic record keeping through a presentation by the Lesotho Institute of Accountants (LIA) and guidance on using RSL electronic services such as tax clearance (eTCC) and Value Added Tax 11 (VAT 11) certificates and systems such as electronic tax registration and filing as well as payments.

According RSL the purpose of these tax clinics is to educate and guide clients on how to file income tax returns using the newly introduced e-Taxation platform (e-filing), which is intended to make it easy for clients. It further highlighted that the tax clinics were aimed to educate and assist clients in utilising the new e-Tax platform for filing income tax returns and e-Payment platform for online payments, as well as in preparing accurate financial statements for correct filing.

Additionally, clients were also guided on accessing and utilising RSL online services like online tax clearance, certificate, online VAT 11, and e-Taxation to fulfil their tax obligations effectively. During the workshop clients were introduced to e-payment and e-taxation services for online tax payments and electronic filing, promoting technology adoption and simplifying the tax payment process nationwide.

RSL Client Education Officer, Matlotliso Tlali, said clients can now fill their tax return forms online during the Prefilling Season Education on social media. Their office focuses on informing or rather providing information on tax-related issues, so she explained the filing season as a time for clients (business owners, employees in various sectors) to provide reports on how they performed in the past financial year .

“Since it is the end of the financial year, we decided to remind taxpayers that the filing season is approaching. This happens annually,” she said, explaining that clients are expected to declare all their sources of income. After filing, taxpayers are expected to have deducted their expenses. However, only allowable expenses should be included in the filing.

“Business owners should be aware that only allowable expenses should appear. These expenses are warranted as an allowable expense only if it is wholly and exclusively incurred for revenue production while Non-Allowable Expenses means all purported expenses which are not chargeable against Gross Receipts,” she said, explaining that allowable expenses may include transportation and rent while non-allowable may include vacation expenses and school fees.

She added that requirements for filing include registering online via the RSL website. “The filing is done online to avoid long queues, also to give the business owner time to run their business while also filling,” she said, adding that e-filling is under the e-services drop button on the website. “We advise clients to choose, the correct forms to fill because we have both individual and business forms so that the information goes to the correct platform,” she said.

Apart from that, Tlali said that a financial statement or profit and loss statement, statement of financial position or balance sheet and withholding tax certificate should be attached to filed documentation. Also, if a business owner is employed outside his or her business, Tlali said the income should also be included in the filing. “All sources of income should be appearing and, in this case, the tax certificate known as P16, payslip or salary printout should be attached, so that all income and tax paid are shown,” she said.

Tlali said, Basotho can benefit from the simplified tax filing process by ensuring they are properly registered with RSL, including providing their Identity number, email address, and phone number. “Once all the necessary information is current, individuals can easily register by visiting the RSL website, accessing e-services, selecting e-taxation, and completing the registration process.”

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