Tax au­thor­ity warns pub­lic

Lesotho Times - - News - Retha­bile Pitso

The Le­sotho Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (LRA) has warned traders to have proper doc­u­men­ta­tion when trans­port­ing goods across the bor­der in or­der to curb cor­rupt prac­tices that tend to in­crease dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

LRA Cus­toms Of­fi­cer, Te­bello Makhechane, said the agency was in the process of en­forc­ing mea­sures to curb the “ab­hor­rent” prac­tice of Cus­toms Of­fi­cers ac­cept­ing bribes and al­low­ing goods to be trans­ported into the coun­try with­out the re­quired duty be­ing paid.

Mr Makhechane, who was speak­ing at a me­dia break­fast held in Maseru yes­ter­day, also urged the pub­lic to de­mand re­ceipts for any trans­ac­tions con­ducted within the coun­try’s bor­der posts as it was the re­spon­si­bil­ity of all par­ties to en­force ac­count­abil­ity and erad­i­cate cor­rup­tion.

“We urge peo­ple to pro­duce doc­u­ments that ac­count for ev­ery pur­chase and al­ways de­mand re­ceipts for any­thing they are be­ing asked to pay for at the bor­der be­cause our of­fi­cers are en­ti­tled to de­mand that you de­clare your goods for tax pur­poses,” he said.

Mr Makhechane also warned stake­hold­ers to de­sist from in­duc­ing Cus­toms Of­fi­cers into ac­cept­ing bribes as it was a crime pun­ish­able by law.

“At LRA, we ex­er­cise zero-tol­er­ance on cor­rup­tion as it is an of­fence. In the past, we have had a long line of of­fi­cers who had fallen prey to the prac­tice that even­tu­ally led to their dis­missal from work,” he said.

he fur­ther urged traders to avoid any in­con­ve­niences when they ar­rive at des­ig­nated cus­toms posts by en­sur­ing the tax in­voices they pro­duce are in their orig­i­nal form, dates do not ex­ceed 90 days from the day the goods were pur­chased, and the in­voice num­ber, as well as 14 per­cent tax de­duc­tion, are vis­i­ble.

Mr Makhechane, who also un­veiled new bor­der post sched­ules for the pur­pose of im­prov­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son, said the LRA was hop­ing to en­sure a smooth flow of traf­fic dur­ing this busy time of the year.

“We have in­creased staff at big bor­ders in Maseru and Ma­put­soe, which will re­tain their nor­mal 24-hour op­er­at­ing times, as well as smaller ones, in­clud­ing Peka, Sephapho, Makhaleng, Tele, Ra­mat­seliso.

Th­ese will how­ever, re­tain their nor­mal times.

“We have also in­creased staff and ex­tended op­er­at­ing hours in Cale­don­spoort (ButhaButhe dis­trict ), Van Rooi (Mafeteng dis­trict), Tele (Quthing dis­trict) and Qacha’s Nek dis­trict.

“From 19 De­cem­ber, Van Rooi will op­er­ate from 6am to 12 mid­night and on 24 De­cem­ber, it will not close while from 4 to 5 Janu- ary 2015, it will op­er­ate from 6 am to 12 mid­night.

“In Qacha, from 22 to 24 De­cem­ber, the bor­der will open at 6 am and close at 10 pm.

“Butha-buthe bor­der will not close on 24De­cem­ber and 4 Jan­uary 2015.

“Sani pass bor­der will ex­tend clos­ing time from 6pm to 10 pm and open at 6am,” he said.

lra has warned the pub­lic not to en­gage in cor­rupt prac­tices at the coun­try's bor­ders.

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