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Preregistration and post- deregistration VAT

A vendor is allowed to claim input tax credit for VAT paid not more than two months prior to the date of VAT registration in respect of:

  • goods held for re-supply on the date of registration; and

  • a supply to or an import by the vendor prior to the date of registration of goods or services to be used in manufacturing goods for supply after the date of registration.

The claim for preregistration VAT credit must be submitted within four years of registration and the vendor must provide details of the stock on hand, copy invoices etc. to support the claim.



VAT is payable on the importation of goods by any person into Lesotho. The VAT paid by the vendor on importation of goods for his business can be claimed as an input tax deduction.

Goods imported from a country of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) (i.e. Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) are imported into Lesotho at the time the goods physically enter Lesotho.

Goods are deemed imported into Lesotho from outside the SACU on the date when the goods are entered for use within Lesotho.

The taxable value for imported goods includes the value of any services relating to the import, such as commission, packaging, transportation, short-term insurance and warranty expenses. Where goods are imported from outside the SACU, their taxable value is the sum of:

  • the customs value of the goods imported; and

  • the customs duty payable on the goods imported.

Where goods are imported from a SACU country, the value of the goods for VAT is the price charged for the goods plus freight and insurance.

If an importer is not registered for VAT or is registered but without a VAT account, VAT officers will collect the VAT payable on the import at the time the goods physically enter Lesotho.

If goods are imported by post, VAT officers at the Post Office will collect the VAT when goods are collected from the Post Office.

Where the importer is a registered vendor or (in certain circumstances) a foreigner who has arranged a VAT Import Account, VAT is payable on the import by the 20th day of the month following the month during which the goods were imported.

Goods that would be exempt or zero- rated if supplied in Lesotho will be subject to the same VAT status when imported into Lesotho.


An imported service is a supply of services by a person in the course or furtherance of an enterprise carried on outside Lesotho where the services are for use or consumption in Lesotho. VAT is payable on the imported service by the person importing the service into Lesotho, except where a registered person imports a service to make taxable supplies.



The exportation of goods is zero-rated (if sold directly to a business abroad), the goods are exported by or on behalf of the supplier, and the required proof of exportation is maintained.


The exportation of services is zero- rated.

Refunds to foreigners

Refunds to foreigners are done through the South African Revenue Service.

Place, time and value of supply

Place of supply

A supply of goods is deemed to be made at:

  • the location of the goods when allocated to a customer’s order. If the goods are in Lesotho when allocated, the supply is in Lesotho, while if the goods are not in Lesotho when allocated, the supply is normally outside the scope of VAT;

  • the place where the assembly or building of goods for the first time takes place on site.

A supply of services is deemed to be made at the place:

  • where the supplier belongs, namely the supplier’s business or other fixed establishment, including a branch or agency;

  • if no such establishment exists, where a natural person usually lives or a company is legally constituted;

  • in the case of establishments in more than one country, at the location of the establishment most directly concerned with the supply;

PricewaterhouseCoopers 79

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