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What is a tax refund?

A tax refund is money that is paid back to the Client by the Revenue Services Lesotho during or at the end of the year of assessment. Subject to certain conditions, a Client will be paid a refund if the amount of tax actually paid by the Client is more than the amount owed by the client  in a given year of assessment.

Who is entitled to a tax refund?


The following persons may be entitled to a tax refund:

  • Individuals,

  • Businesses,

  • Temporary importers and exporters,

  • Diplomats and Diplomatic Missions,

  • Tax Exempt organisations ,for example, NGO’s and public international organisations,

  • Non-residents.


How does a Taxpayer apply for a tax refund?


  1. Individuals and businesses
    To apply for a tax refund, a registered Clients must apply for a tax refund in writing to the Commissioner Core Operations. Upon receipt of the application letter, a tax audit will be conducted to verify the tax refund claim before it is processed. The RSL will complete the tax audit within three (3) months depending on the complexity and merits of each case. Upon completion of a tax audit, the RSL shall process a tax refund within twelve (12) working days.


  1. Refund claim for provisional tax
    To claim a tax refund on temporary importation, the importer must lodge an application for a tax refund in writing and such a letter should be addressed to the Commissioner Core Operations. Additionally, the following documents should be attached to the application letter for a tax refund:

      • Original receipts issued,
      • Memo issued by Customs Border Officials
      • SAD 500 CN1 and CN2 forms issued upon entry
      • Declaration documents upon re-export



Refunds relating to provisional payment/s on temporary imports will be made within twelve (12) working days.


Diplomats and Diplomatic Missions


Lesotho Diplomatic Privileges Act 1969 provides for exemptions to officials of diplomatic missions and members of their families in a manner prescribed in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.


The following documents should be attached to the application for a tax refund:


  • A prescribed form should be filled

  • Separate spreadsheets should be prepared for Lesotho and Republic of South Africa (RSA) tax invoices

  • Originals should be submitted for RSA issued tax invoices. These should be attached to a completed RSL VAT Refund form, available at all commercial Border Posts.

  • Refund claims on RSA issued tax invoices should strictly be lodged in the subsequent month from the month of purchase or earlier.

  • A Client is allowed to lodge a claim of refund on the tax invoices issued in Lesotho within a period of fours (4) years from the date of issuance.

  • The tax refund claims should be submitted at any RSL Advice Centre.

  • Diplomats and diplomatic missions’ tax refunds will be issued within twelve (12) days.

For any other employees of a foreign government or public international organisation based in Lesotho are advised to contact the RSL for assistance and guidance.

Tax Exempt organisations (exemption by way of refund)


To ascertain whether an organisation is exempt from tax in Lesotho, firstly, such organisation should apply for tax exemption to the Revenue Services Lesotho to determine whether it is eligible for exemption or not. The law provides that tax exemption will be granted by a way of refund. This implies that a tax exempt organisation will still be required to pay tax when buying goods and services and it will subsequently claim the refund on the tax paid.


Although an organisation may be exempt from both Income tax and Value Added tax in Lesotho, the law provides that it should still register for other taxes such as employees’ tax.


Therefore a tax exempt organisation should register for employees’ tax or Pay As You Earn (PAYE).


  • A tax exempt organisation should lodge an application for a tax refund using a VAT refund form, which is obtainable at Refunds Processing Office at RSL Headquarters.

  • The tax refund claims should be lodged on a monthly basis and be strictly for tax paid on purchase of official goods and services that are directly related to the mandate of the organisation.

  • The tax exempt organisation ought to provide original tax invoices as well as copies of tax invoices upon lodgment of a tax refund claim.

  • Lastly, a tax exempt organisation need to prepare a schedule listing all the invoices on which a refund claim is made on. The schedule should show the name of the supplier, VAT charged, tax invoice number and date.