LRA to erase poor revenue collection spell

LAWRENCE KEKETSO

MASERU - The Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) is gearing its wheels towards reaching new heights in revenue collection and performance following bad spells that have persisted in recent years and peaked between 2010 and 2012. Setting out its new five-year strategic plan, LRA says it has learnt from its past weaknesses and is building on the strengths it has gained over time to make the coming years a success.

“Our new strategy is to build a service culture within the LRA through collaborative leadership,” explained the Acting Head – Delivery Unit, Lineo Tšeuoa, during a media presentation on Tuesday this week, adding some of the old practices would be improved where both the client and the institution would reap greater benefits.

She noted, among other examples, that while in the past more focus was on the enforcement of compliance, the strategy now was to give and provide services that would make all the taxpayers willing to comply voluntarily and with full understanding of their tax obligations.

Tšeuoa said the new strategy, which runs until 2023, is meant to improve compliance by providing easy, attractive, timely and accessible services for the client not to carry the burden of complying, such as enduring long queues or filling complicated forms, but more towards a self-serving and modernised compliance model with a self-fulfilling benefit.

Against the background of declining performance in revenue collection since the 2010 to 2012 collection season, the LRA has also experienced spells of badly missed collection targets due to a mix challenges that have in part contributed to the need for the new approach into the future.

Speaking on the benefits so far derived from the new strategy, Tšeuoa said already in the first quarter of 2018, rewards are already trickling in from the new strategy, with the Authority having registered improved collection in the first quarter ending July, 2018, with a 0.3 percent wave above the set target for the period.

She also said compared with the past seasons, during the same period, this year has not been very bad taking into consideration the overall variance of -22.1 percent in 2017/18 and the worst of -24.9 percent in 2013/14 season. To lay a solid foundation in the implementation of the new strategy, the LRA will be opening partnership channels with different stakeholders while at the same time employing the highest standards in improving in human resources as well as service oriented initiatives.

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