Standard Bank, LRA launch value added service

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MASERU — Taxpayers living in areas far from the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) offices but are close to any of the Standard Lesotho Bank branches will no longer take long trips in order to pay tax.

The bank and the LRA on Tuesday this week launched a value added service that will enable VAT filing at all Standard Lesotho Bank branches countrywide.

The first launch was on 12  December last year covering Standard Lesotho Bank branches at Butha-Buthe, Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka and Qacha’s Nek.

In a joint press release, the bank and the LRA say by visiting any nearby Standard Lesotho Bank branch a taxpayer can complete two transactions in one visit, unlike in the past when one would have to go to the bank and travel to the LRA advice centre to lodge a return.

 “The service will help improve tax administration as well as reduce time for business taxpayers to engage in multiple trips of having to travel from tax offices as they had to travel long trips before,” reads the press release.

The LRA Commissioner for Taxpayer Services, Maleshoane Morakabi said the provision would help in improving LRA services.

Morakabi urged all taxpayers, especially VAT vendors and employers to effectively use the system.

The Standard Lesotho Bank Managing Director, Roger Snelgar and the LRA Assistant Commissioner Thabo Letjama signed a memorandum of understanding demonstrating their eagerness to work together in initiatives that promote development of taxpayers.

“This was a message that the two institutions are formally joining hands to ensure that convenient service will be delivered to business people through their organisations to help ensure the new system of filing returns is fully operational at all 10 districts of Lesotho,” reads the press release.

 Taxpayers, after the launch of this system, can now enjoy the benefit of paying tax at the nearest Standard Lesotho Bank branch whenever the bank is operating, including on Saturdays.

The service as explained by Head of Operations Standard Lesotho Bank Mohau Masia, has been available at the highland branches for some time, but lately introduced a process whereby the tax payer paid at the bank and also left the form at the allocated boxes at Standard Lesotho Bank branches.

The process is such that the tax payer will complete the return form together with the perforated deposit slip part and the teller will concentrate on the deposit part not any other parts of the form and stamp all four copies.

The teller will then tear off the original and hand over the four forms back to the customer who will then keep the two top copies and deposit the last two copies into the deposit box that will be in the banking hall clearly marked “LRA Return Forms”.

Standard Lesotho Bank and Lesotho Revenue Authority have ensured that all processes are simplified, and even on the Return Form box there are guidelines to be followed by the tax payers on how to fill in the form.

The new partnership will help contribute in improving services delivery for the benefit of Basotho and also contribute in improving Lesotho’s economy.

“Basotho have eagerly waited for this kind of service, and we are proud to be the first bank to offer this kind of service,” reads the release.

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