LRA exceeds target by 13 percent, collects M6.3 billion

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By Lineo Ramatlapeng

The Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) has exceeded its 2020/2021 financial year revenue collection target by 13 percent and collected M6.3 billion in taxes for government.

Speaking at a press briefing, Commissioner General Thabo Khasipe said the authority was given the mandate to collect M5.605 billion which was a revised target from an initial target of M7.591 billion.

He said the revision of the revenue collection target was put into effect due to the COVID-19 lockdown that the country underwent in March 2020.

Khasipe said the COVID-19 effects which were characterised by several economic disruptions led to the revision of the initial target from government.

Khasipe was speaking alongside the Chairperson of the board of the authority Robert Likhang and the minister of finance Thabo Sofonea.

He said while taxs relief measures were implemented permitting for delayed first-quarter tax payments clients continued to meet their obligations.

The effects of delayed payments, Khasipe said were observed from a mid-first quarter, adding that it resulted in a revenue deficit for May and June which was followed by a quick rebound in July that was driven by a significant pay-as-you-earn remittal from government.

Amid the tough economic landscape negatively affecting business operations, Khasipe said the authority was able to remit M6.351 billion to government registering a 13 percent surplus into the consolidated fund.

Khasipe said while income tax collections were resilient for most of the year, declining pay-as-you-earn collections from the private sector for mostly below the 2019/2020 financial year collections account for a notable deficit.

In addition, Khasipe said, “government’s Withholding Tax collections were 50 percent lower than 2019/20 financial year and the performance worsened by large clients who were in income tax refunds”.

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