LESOTHO Revenue Authority (LRA) has defied the odds, exceeding the revenue target with a surplus of M638 million, collecting M7.3 billion against the set target of M6.6 billion.
April 8, 2022
3 min read
LRA exceeds revenue target
LRA boss, Thabo Khasipe
- The authority collects M7.3 billion
- Finance minister commends the LRA for a sterling performance
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The LRA revealed on Wednesday during the announcement of revenue collection outcome for the fiscal year 2021/22 which ended in March that this was achieved despite a muted economic period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Out of all the 12 months, we exceeded the target for nine months,” said the LRA Commissioner General, Thabo Khasipe during the launch of the new filing season on the same day.
“We only failed to meet the target in September, October and February. Income tax was more resilient against the target and most of its collection comes from employees followed by Corporate Income Tax.”
The Minister of Finance, Thabo Sophonea commended the LRA for a sterling performance despite the ailing economic environment that is still on the path of recovery.
“LRA cannot be successful in its work without the cooperation of the tax paying community,” he said.
“The moral obligation of paying taxes stems from the virtue of commutative justice which is the presumed social contract between the state and the citizens.
“It is therefore important to adhere to the principles of fair tax system which amongst others, include transparency, equity, simplicity, and efficiency. Alongside their mandate of revenue collection, LRA remains committed to the practice of these principles.”
Mr Sophonea said it was through taxes that the government was able to pay old age pensions, build schools and hospitals, pay salaries of civil servants, provide clean potable water, provide electricity, build roads and a myriad of other public services.
Despite the challenging economic conditions overshadowed by COVID-19 pandemic, the LRA has been directed to collect a combined revenue target of M8.6 billion for the financial year 2022/23 financial year.
While the new target has been described as a big challenge by the authority, there is a strong belief that it can be met.
LRA board chairman, Robert Likhang believes the target can be achieved through the use of technology and more collaboration.
“LRA aspires to collect over M billion in the period 2022/23 as directed by the finance ministry,” he said.
“This target is premised on among other things, the phenomenal impact that digital technology is having on businesses around the world, which is creating exciting and viable new opportunities for business and hence revenue growth.”
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However, Mr Likhang said capitalising on this opportunity required a strong focus on innovation and collaboration.
“At the same time, there has never been a greater imperative to embrace technology to counter the downward pressures on the macro-economy in order to maximize efficiencies and reconfigure our solutions,” he said.
He added that within the next few years, the LRA planned to adopt modern technologies to support revenue mobilisation strategies. The authority is focusing on the acquisition, utilisation and maintenance of contemporary technologies including systems automation, adoption of block-chain based technology, Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data mining.