Lesotho Revenue Authority Act No.14 of 2001

Year of Act: 
Number of Act: 
Date of promulgation: 
01 January 2001
Date of commencement: 
01 January 2001































1.   Short title and commencement

2.   Interpretation

3.   Duties of the Minister




4.   Establishment ofthe Authority

5.   Functions of the Authority

6.   Powers of the Authority

7.   Taxpayer identification and exchange of information




8.   Establishment ofthe Board

9.   Vacation from office

10. Meetings of the Board


11. Disclosure ofinterest

12. Invitees

13. Committees of the Board

14. Remuneration and expenses of members

15. Powers of the Board

16. Exemptions, etc.




17. Appointment of Commissioner-General

18. Tenure of office of Commissioner-General

19. General functions of Commissioner-General

20. Appointment of revenue commissioners,etc

21. Existing staff










22. Revenue to be paid into the Consolidated Fund

23. Funds of the Authority

24. Accounts and audit

25. Annual reports

26. Financial year






27. Confidentiality

28. Exemption frompersonal liability

29. Regulations

30. Vesting of assets, liabilities, etc.

31. Reference to existing revenue departments































AnActtoprovidefor theestablishmentoftheLesothoRevenueAuthorityasthe main body responsible for the assessment and collection, on behalf of the Government,ofspecifiedrevenue;fortheadministration andenforcementoflaws relating to such revenue and for related matters.


ENACTED by the Parliament of Lesotho






Short title and commencement


1.         ThisActmaybecitedastheLesothoRevenueAuthorityAct,2001andshall comeinto operation on such date as the Ministermay,bynoticepublishedintheGazette, appoint.




2.   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires –


“Authority” means the Lesotho Revenue Authority established under section 4; “Board” means the Board of the Authority established under section 8;

“Chairman” means the Chairman of the Board designated as such under section 8 (3);



“Commissioner-General” means the Commissioner-General of the Authority appointed under section 17 (1);

“existing revenue departments” means the Departments of- (a)Customs and Excise;

(b)Income Tax; and

(c)Sales Tax,

within the Ministry of Finance;


“member” means a member of the Board; “Minister” means the MinisterofFinance;


“revenue” means the taxes, duties, fees, fines or other monies imposed and collected under the written laws, or the specified provisions of the written laws, set out in the Schedule.


Duties of the Minister


3.   Notwithstanding Part II, it shall be the duty of the Minister-


(a)to determine and ensure the effective application of the fiscal policies ofthe

Governmentof Lesotho;


(b)to ensure theeffective coordination ofthe policies for the collection and preservation of revenue accounts.





Establishment of the Authority


4.         (1)        There is established a body to be known as the Lesotho Revenue Authority which shall be –


(a)a body corporate with perpetualsuccession and a common seal; (b)in its corporate name, capable of suing and being sued;

(c)capable of holding, purchasing and otherwise acquiring and disposing of any property, moveable and immovable, for purposes of, or in the course of carrying out its functions; and


(d)doingorperformingallsuchactsandthingsasbodiescorporatemaybylaw do or perform.


(2)TheAuthorityshall,uponthecommencementofthisAct,replacetheexisting revenue departments.


Functions of the Authority


5.   (1) The Authority shall be an agencyof the Government responsible for the assessment,  collection  and  receipt  of  specified  revenue  and  shall  operate  under  the general supervision of the Minister.







(2)Without prejudice to the generality ofsubsection (1), the functions of the Authority shall be-


(a)to administer and enforce the laws set out in the Schedule; (b)to promote voluntary compliance with tax laws;

(c)to take such measures as may be required to improve the standards of service giventotaxpayerswithaviewtoimprovingefficiencyand effectivenessand maximising revenue collection;


(d)to take such measures as may be required or necessary to counteract tax fraud and other forms of fiscal evasion;


(e)toadvisetheMinisteronmattersof revenuepolicyandmattersrelatingtothe administrationandcollection of revenue under the laws listed in the Schedule; and


(f)  to performsuch other functions, in relation to revenue, as the Minister may direct.


(3)  The Minister may, by notice published inthe Gazette,amend the Schedule.


Powers of the Authority


6.   The Authority shall, in the discharge of its functions, have power-


(a)tostudyrevenuelawsandproposeanysuitablechangestotheMinister,which maybemadetoanylaw forthepurposeofimprovingtheadministrationof,and compliance with, revenue laws;


(b)tocalculatetheadministrativecosts, compliancecostsandtheoperationalimpact of intended legislative changes, andtoadvisetheMinisteraccordingly;


(c)tocollectandprocessstatisticsneededtoprovideforecastsofrevenuereceipts and the effect on yield of any proposals forchanges in revenue laws, and to advise the Minister accordingly;  and


(d) to  take  such  other  measures  as  it  deems  necessary  or  desirable  for  the achievement of the purposes or provisions of this Act.


Tax payer identification and exchange of information


7.         (1)  The  Authority  shall,  with  the  approval  of  the  Minister,  by  notice  in  the Gazette,providefortheestablishment,maintenance, and application of systems for the convenientandeffectualidentificationoftaxpayersfor thepurposeofco-ordinated administration of the revenue laws of Lesotho.


(2)  Withoutprejudicetosubsection(1),it shallbelawfulforofficersintherevenue departments oftheAuthority to exchange orfurnisheach otherwith informationor documents concerning any taxpayer and for the purposes of the discharge of functions under this Act.




Establishment and composition of the Board


8.   (1)ThereisestablishedaboardoftheAuthoritywhichshallbethegoverningbodyof the Authority.


(2) The Board shall consist of the following persons:


(a)one senior representative of the following Ministries or bodies as the case may be,whoshallbeappointedbytheMinister in consultation withtheMinistries or bodies-


(i)         Ministry of Finance;

(ii)        Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing; (iii)      Central Bank of Lesotho;

(iv)       Lesotho Institute of Accountants;

(v)        Lesotho Chamber of Commerce & Industry; (vi)     Lesotho Association of Employers;


(b)onememberappointedbytheMinister fromtheprivatesector,whoshallbe appointed  on  the  basis  of  his  professional  knowledge  and  experience  in finance, commerce, legalor economic affairs; and


(c) the Commissioner-General, who shall be Secretary.


(3)AmemberoftheBoardshallbeapersonofhighintegrityandshallhaveno proven record of tax evasion.


(4)  The  Minister  shall  designate  the  Chairman  of  the  Board  from  amongst  the members and the members shall elect a Vice-Chairman from amongst their number:


Provided  that  if  the  Chairman  is  designated  from  the  public  sector,  then  the  Vice- Chairman shall be elected fromthe private sector, and vice versa.


(5) Every member shall, personally, attend meetings of the Board, and where a memberisunabletoattendanymeetingoftheBoardhemayrequestthathisapologies forfailuretoattend berecorded.In suchcircumstances,amembermay,inhisabsence, andwiththeapprovalof theMinistryorbodywhichherepresents,nominateaseniorand experienced person to represent him.


(6)  A member shall not, by virtue only of his appointment to the Board, be deemed to be an officer in the public service.


(7)A  member  shall  hold  office  for  a  period  of  3  years  from  the  date  of  his appointment and shall be eligible for re-appointment at the expiry of that period.


(8) TheMinistershall,bynoticeintheGazette,publishthenamesofthepersons appointed asmembers.


Vacation from office


9. (1)  A member shall be deemed to have vacated his office- (a)upon the expiry of the period of his appointment; (b)upon his death;

(c)ifheceasesemploymentwith,ormembershipof,theMinistryorbody,asthe case may be,  which  nominated him;


(d)ifhe is adjudged insolvent; (e)if he is convicted -

(i) for an offenceundersection11(2);


(ii) for an offence which involves moral turpitude.


(f)  if  he  is  absent,  without  the  permission  of  the  Board,  from  3  successive meetings of the Board ofwhich he has had notice;


(g)upon notice in writing of his intention to resign his office;


(h)if  he  becomes,  by  reason  of  mental  or  physical  infirmity,  incapable     of performing his duties  as a member;


(i)  ifanycircumstancesarisethat,ifhewerenotamember,wouldcausethat member to be disqualified for appointment as a member.




(2)Wheneverthereisavacancyintheofficeofamember,theMinistershall, in accordancewithsection 8andbynoticepublishedintheGazette,appointanotherperson, nominatedbytheMinistryorbody,asthecasemaybeauthorityor institution which nominated the original member, to fill the vacancy for the remainder ofthe period.


(3) Subject to section 10 (4), the Board may act notwithstanding any vacancy in the membership of the Board and any decisions made shall be valid.


Meetings of the Board


10. (1) The Board shall meet at such places and at such times as the Chairman may determine, and shall meet at least once every month.


(2)AnordinarymeetingoftheBoardshall beconvenedafteratleast7dayswritten notice to the members.


(3)TheChairmanmay,athisdiscretion,andshall,atthewritten requestof3 ormore members of the Board and within 5 days of such request, cause an extraordinary meeting of the Board to be summoned at suchplace and time as he may appoint.


(4)TheChairman,orinhis absence,the Vice-Chairmanshallpresideatmeetingsof the Board, and the quorum of any meeting of the Board shall be 4 members.


(5)In the absence of both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman the members present and formingaquorum shallelectoneofthememberstopresideoverameetingoftheBoard, andthemembersoelectedshallexerciseallthepowersandperform allthedutiesofthe Chairman.


(6)Subject to this Act, the Board may make standing orders for the regulation of its proceedings andbusinessortheproceedings andbusinessofanyofitscommittees and may vary, suspend or revoke any such standing orders.


(7)MinutesofeachmeetingoftheBoardoracommitteeoftheBoardshallbekept by the secretary and shall be continued at the succeeding meeting.


(8)ThedecisionoftheBoardatanymeetingonanymattershallbethatofthe majorityofthememberspresentandvoting,andatallmeetingsthepersonpresiding


shall  have,  in  the  event  of  an  equality  of  votes,  a  casting  vote  in  addition  to  his deliberativevote.


(9)  Thevalidityofany act, decisionorproceedingsoftheBoardshallnotbeaffected byanyvacancyamongthemembersorbyanydefect subsequently discovered in the appointmentofamemberorbyreasonthat somepersonwhowasnotentitledtodoso took part therein.















Disclosure of interest


11.  (1)If  amemberacquiresanypecuniaryinterest, direct or indirect,inanymatterand ispresentatameetingoftheBoardatwhichthematteristhe subjectof consideration by the Board, he shall, as soon as practicable after the commencement of the meeting, discloseallthematerialfactstotheBoard,andshallnottakepartin theconsiderationor discussion of, or vote on any question with respect to, the matter.


(2)Amemberwhocontravenessubsection(1)commitsanoffenceandshallbe liableonconvictiontoimprisonmentforaperiod ofnotlessthan1yearbutnot exceeding 5 years or to a fine  notless than M2, 000 but not exceeding M10, 000.




12.  (1)  TheBoardmay,initsdiscretion,atanytimeandfor anylengthofperiod, invite any person to attend any meeting of the Boardforthepurposeofassistingoradvisingthe Board in respect of any matter under consideration by the Board.


(2)   Any person invited pursuant to subsection (1) may take part in the deliberations of the Board at any meeting he attends, but shall not be entitled to vote on any matter at any meeting of the Board.


Committees of the Board


13.  (1) The Board may establish such numberof committees as the Board shall deem appropriate to perform such functions andsuch responsibilities as the Board shall determine.


(2) The Board shall appoint the chairmanofeachcommitteefromamongstthe members.


(3)   AnofficeroftheAuthoritydulyappointedinwritingbytheCommissioner- Generalshallbesecretarytoanycommitteeof theBoard,andshall,ontheinstructionsof the chairman of the committee convene meetings of the committee.


(4)Theprovisionsofsection10relatingto themeetingsoftheBoardshall,mutatis mutandis, apply to the meetings of any committee.







Remuneration and expenses of members


14.  (1)  MembersshallbepaidfromthefundsoftheAuthoritysuchsittingallowanceas the Board may, subject to the approval of the Minister, determine.


(2)    TheBoardmay,withtheapprovaloftheMinister,makeprovisionforthe reimbursementofanyreasonableexpenses incurredbyamemberoramemberofa committee of the Board in connection with the business of the Board or the committee.


Powers of the Board


15.  (1) In the dischargeof its functions under thisAct, the Board may-


(a)direct the Commissioner-General to furnish it with any information, reports or other documents which the Board considers necessary for the performance of its functions;


(b)giveinstructionsandorderstothe Commissioner-General in connection with the management, performance, operational policies and implementation thereof, of the revenue departments of the Authority;


(c)formulateanddeviseasystemforensuring,throughinternalauditsystems, the correct processing of all tax cases;


(d)on the recommendation of the Commissioner-General approve such organizational structures asthe Commissioner-General may

consider necessary for the dischargeof the functions of the Authority;


(e)  prescribe such administrative measuresas may be required to safeguard the revenue;


(f) exercise disciplinary control over all staff of the Authority.


(2)TheBoardshallnotinterveneinthe determinationofanyrevenueassessment, revenue liability of, or tax appeal by, any taxpayer.




16.  (1)  The Board shall recommend to the Minister –


(a)criteria or factors by reference to which any exemption, mitigation, deferment or remission of any revenue may be granted;  and


(b)procedurestobefollowedingrantinganyexemption,mitigation,defermentor remission of any revenue and the Minister shall by notice published in the Gazette,publishwithin60daysofhisdecision,specifythe criteria or factors and the procedures so recommended.


(2)TheMinistermay,bynoticepublishedinthe Gazette, exempt,mitigate, defer or remit any revenue in accordance with the criteria published pursuant to subsection (1).


(3)   TheCommissioner-GeneralshallsubmittotheBoardquarterlyreportsonthe total amount of revenue remitted or foregone in respect of each ofthecriteriaspecified under subsection (1).


(4)    The  Board  shall,  within  3  months  of  the  end  of  the  financial  year  of  the Authority,  submit  to  the  Minister  a  report  setting  out  the  total  amount  remitted  or foregonepursuanttosubsection(2),andtheMinistershall,within30daysfromthedate of submission, cause it to be published in the Gazette.


(5)    TheMinistershall,within60daysfromthedateof  publicationofthereportin the Gazette, lay the report before Parliament.




Appointment of Commissioner – General


17.(1)   ThereshallbeaChiefExecutiveoftheAuthoritytobecalled the Commissioner- General  whoshallbeappointedonmeritbytheBoardonsuchtermsandconditionsas the Board may determine.


(2)    TheappointmentandtermsandconditionsofserviceoftheCommissioner- General shall be subject to approval by the Minister.


(3)  TheCommissioner-Generalshall,subjecttothegeneralsupervisionandcontrol of the Board, be responsible for-


(a)the day to day operations of the Authority;


(b)the management of the funds, property and business of the Authority;



Authority; and

(d)the effective administration and implementation of the provisions of this Act. (4)TheBoardshallconductanannualperformanceappraisalwithregardtothe

performanceoftheCommissionerGeneral,andareportthereof,shall,within30days fromthe end ofthe financial year ofthe Authority, be submitted to the Minister.











Tenure of office of Commissioner  - General


18.(1)TheCommissioner-Generalshall,subjecttosubsection(2),holdofficefora period of 3 years and shall be eligible for re-appointment at the discretionofthe Minister.


(2)  The  Board  may,  subject  to  the  approval  of  the  Minister,  terminate  the appointment of the Commissioner-General for-





(b)inability, incapacity or incompetenceto performthe duties of his office.


General functions of Commissioner - General


19.(1)TheCommissioner-Generalshalldevotehisfulltimetothedutiesofhisoffice and shall not, without the prior approval of the Board, hold any office of trust or profit, other than that of Commissioner-General or engage in any occupationforrewardoutside the office of Commissioner –General.


(2)The Commissioner-General may, subject to this Act and to any general or specific directionsoftheBoard,delegateanyofhis functionsinrelationtoarevenuelawtoa revenue commissioner or any other commissioner or officer.


(3)The Commissioner-General or, in his absence such officer of the Authority as the Commissioner-Generalmaydesignateinwriting shallattend meetingsoftheBoard and any committee of the Board but shall not vote on any matter:



Commissioner-General or such other officer to withdraw from the meeting.



(4)TheCommissioner-Generalshall,ontheinstructionsof theChairman,convene meetings of the Board.


Appointment of Revenue Commissioners etc.


20. (1)  TheBoardmay,ontherecommendationoftheCommissioner-General,andon suchtermsandconditionsastheBoardmaydetermine,appointonthebasisofmerit, such number and grades of revenue commissioners or other commissioners in relation to any revenue law as the Board may think necessary or desirable for the efficient and effective discharge of thefunctions of the Authority.


(2)  The Commissioner-General may, on such terms and conditions as the Board may determine,appointotherofficersandstaff of the Authority subordinate to the Commissioner-Generalasmayberequiredforthe performance of the functions of the Authority.


Existing staff


21.(1)UponthecommencementofthisAct, a public officer employed in the existing revenuedepartmentsmay,withinaperiodtobe prescribedbytheAuthorityapplytothe Authorityforemploymentandifheischosen, he shall be employed by the Authority and shallbedeemedtohaveretiredfromthePublicServicefromthedateofhisassumption ofdutieswiththeAuthorityandheshallbeentitledtosuchterminalbenefits,ifany,due to himunder the appropriate legislation.


(2) A public officer who does not apply for employment with the Authority or whose application has not been successful  in securing employmentwith the Authority, may be re-deployedinthePublicServicesubjectto availabilityofasuitablepositionasmaybe determined by the Minister responsible for the Public Service.


(3)Where no suitable position is available in the opinion of the Minister responsible forthePublicService,suchofficerasreferredtoinsubsection(2)shallbedeemedto have been retired fromthe Public Service pursuant to the Public Service Act 1995¹.






Revenue to be paid into the Consolidated Fund


22. All revenue collected by, or due and payable to, the Authority under this Act shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.


Funds of the Authority


23. (1)   The funds of the Authority shall consist of –



(a)2%oftherevenueestimatedinthefinancialestimatesforeachfinancialyear to be collected by the Authority under this Act;


(b)such monies as the Minister may, after consultation with the Board, allocate as bonus in case of exceptional performance;


(c)such  monies as may be received bythe Authority under subsection (2); and


(d)such monies as may otherwise vestin or accrue to the Authority. (2) The funds of the Authority-


1988²,  be  payable  to  the  Authority  in  monthly  installments  on  or beforethebeginningofeachmonthandmay,subjecttotheapproval of the Minister, be takenfromrevenue collections;


(b)specifiedinsubsection(1)(b)shall bepayabletotheAuthoritywithin one month after the end ofthe three-month period.


(3)  The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Board, by notice published in the Gazette, revise the percentages of revenue in subsection (1) (a) and (b).


(4)  Any funds received by the Authority in respect of a financial year which are not expendedbytheendofthatfinancialyearshallbeplacedinareservefundtobe expended subject to the budget of the Authority for the ensuing financial year.


(5)  The Authority may-


(a) acceptmoneybywayofgrantsordonationsfromanysourceinor outside Lesotho;


(b)subject to the Loans (Statutory Bodies) Act  1975³ and the approval of theMinister,raisebywayofloansfrom anysourceinoroutside Lesotho,  such  money  as  it  may  require  for  the  discharge  of  its functions; and


(c) charge  and  collect  fees  in  respect  of  programmes,  publications, seminars,documents,consultancyservices and other services provided by the Authority.


(6)  TheAuthoritymay,subjecttotheapproval of the Minister, invest in such manner as it thinks fit such of its funds as it does not immediately require for the performance of its functions.


Accounts and audit


24. (1) The Authority shall cause to be kept proper books of accounts and other records relating to its accounts.


(2) The accounts of the Authority shall be audited annually by independent auditors appointed by the Board and approved by the Minister.


(3) Notwithstanding subsection(2),theAuditor-Generalmayexaminethebooksof accounts of the Authority at therequest of the Government.


Annual reports


25.(1)TheAuthorityshallassoonaspracticable,butnotlaterthan 3monthsafterthe expiryofeachfinancialyear, submittotheMinisterareportconcerningits activities during that financial year.


(2)  Thereportreferredtoinsubsection(1)shallbeinsuchform astheMinistermay approve, and shall include informationonthefinancialaffairsoftheAuthorityandthere shall be appended to the report-


(a)an audited balance sheet;


(b)an audited statement of income and expenditure;






Minister may direct.


(3)TheMinistershall,duringthemeetingof theNationalAssemblynextfollowing receiptbyhimofthereportreferredtoinsubsection(1),laythereportbeforethe National Assembly, and the Authority may publish the report for sale to the public.




Financial year


26. The financial year of the Authority shall be a period of 12 months commencing on, 1st Aprilineachyear,andendingon31stMarch in the following year, or on such other dates the Minister may specify by Notice published in the Gazette:


ProvidedthatthefirstfinancialyearoftheAuthoritymaybesuchshorterorlonger period than 12 months as the Minister shall determine but being not less than 6 months or more than 18 months.






27. (1) Every member of the Board, the Commissioner-General, revenue commissioner or anyotherpersonemployedbytheAuthorityin the carrying out of the provisions of this Act, shall regard and deal with as secret to any unauthorized person, all documents and informationrelatingtotheincome,expenditureorotherfinancialdealingsorstatusof any taxpayer or other person involved in anyoperations in furtherance of the purposes of thisAct,andallconfidentialinstructionsinrespectoftheadministrationofthisAct which may come into his possession or to hisknowledge in the course ofhis duties.


(2)TheprovisionsoftheIncomeTaxAct1993,theCustomsandExciseAct1982 and the Sales Tax Act 1995 relating to the preservation of secrecy by officers and other personsdischargingfunctionsundertheAct shall,mutatismutandis,applytopersons dischargingfunctions under this Act.


Exemption from personal liability


28.NomemberoftheBoard,anycommitteeoftheBoard,oran employeeofthe Authority shall, inhispersonalcapacity, be liableincivilorcriminalproceedingsin respect of any act or omission done in good faith in the performance of his duties or functions under this Act.




29. (1) The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Board, make Regulations for the carrying into effect theprovisions of this Act.





(a)respectingthetermsandconditionsofservice,includingpensions,gratuities and other retirement benefits, of all members ofstaffofthe Authority;





(c)prescribingthecodeofconductforallmembersofstaffoftheAuthority,a breach of which shall constitute a disciplinary offence;


(d)prescribing the procedure for the conduct of disciplinary proceedings;





(f)respecting the performance targets of the Authority.


Vesting of assets,liabilities etc.


30. (1)  All property, except any such property as the Minister may determine, by notice publishedin theGazette,whichimmediatelybeforethecommencementof thisActwas vestedintheGovernmentfortheuseoftheexistingrevenue departmentsforpurposesof thewrittenlawssetoutintheScheduleshall,onthecommencementof thisAct,and without  further  assurance,  vest  in  the  Authority,  subject  to  all  interests,  liabilities, charges, obligations and trusts affecting such property.


(2)  Except  as  otherwise  provided  in  subsection  (1)  in  relation  to  property,  all contracts,debts,obligationsandliabilitiesofthe Governmentattributabletotheexisting revenue department before the commencement of this Act shall remain vested in the Governmentand may be enforcedby or against the Government.


(3) All legal proceedings and claimswhich before the commencement of this Act are pendinginrespectofrevenuetowhichthewrittenlawssetoutintheScheduleapply shall be continued or enforced by or against the Authority in the samemanner as they would have been continued or enforced before the commencement of this Act.


Reference to existing revenue departments


31. Upon the coming into operation of this Act-


(a)allreferencestotheDirector  of CustomsandExcise,theCommissionerof SalesTax            orCommissionerof                             IncomeTaxinthelawsspecifiedinthe Schedule  or  any  other  law  shall  be  constructed              as  references  to  the Commissioner-General;


(b)any reference to the existing revenue departments in the laws specified in the Schedule or in any other law shall be deemed to be a reference be the Authority.


(c)except as provided in paragraph (a) any reference to an officer of the existing revenuedepartmentshowsoeverdesignatedinthewrittenlawsspecified inthe Schedule or in any other law shall be deemed to be reference to the Authority.







1.         Proclamation No. 4 of 1964

2.         Act No. 13 of 1995

3.         Order No. 6 of 1988

4.         Act No. 9 of 1993

5.         Act No. 12 0f 1982

6.         Act No. 14 of 1995

7.         Act No. 22 of 1975










LAWS RELATING TO REVENUE                (sections 2, 5(2)(e) and 31)




1.   Customs and Excise Act 1982

2.   IncomeTax Act 1993

3.   Sales Tax Act 1995

4.   Value Added Tax 2001