The New Times (Kigali)

1 September 2012

Rwanda: Taxpayers' Day Celebrated

Yesterday, Prime Minister Dr Pierre Damien Habumuremyi yesterday officiated at an event to mark Taxpayers' Day, calling for more commitment by Rwandans to fulfil their obligations. He explained that the tax revenue plays a very vital role in the general economic development of the country.

He said that there was need to expand developmental activities using resources derived from the income obtained through taxation because it is the central pillar of the country's economy.

"Adequate payment of taxes is impressive because tax revenue provides a financial basis to feel that as Rwandans, we can all jointly strive to get rid of the culture of depending on foreign aid," Habumuremyi said.

52 per cent of this year's budget is expected to be funded by locally generated revenue and the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has raised the target collection to Rwf640billion up from Rwf532billion last year.

The Prime Minister hailed RRA for setting higher targets and expressed optimism that it would be achieved because they were able to surpass the previous target by 10per cent.

He noted that it was necessary to encourage the development of home grown solutions for common financial problems by supporting local initiatives such as the recently launched Agaciro Development fund.

During yesterday's celebrations, Habumuremyi disclosed that the fund has so far garnered over Rwf5billion and staff members of RRA contributed Rwf387million yesterday

The celebration attracted several top government officials and distinguished foreign dignitaries. It was organised under the theme; Technology in Taxation: A way to Trade Facilitation.

On his part, Commissioner General, Ben Kagarama urged tax payers to adopt quick and easy ways of using technological services in tax declaration and payment.

As a way of ensuring that his institution reaches the target, Kagarama pointed out that ten service centres would be erected countrywide so as to facilitate electronic declaration and payment of taxes.

Using the e-Tax calculator, the tax payer will be able to calculate PAYE, Value Added Tax (VAT) on a monthly basis and Personal Income Tax (PIT), Corporate Income Tax (CIT), on a quarterly basis. It will also be able for taxpayers to calculate Annual Corporate Income Tax, and Annual Personal Income Tax.

During yesterday's celebrations, exemplary taxpayers were awarded with certificates of merit.

Jacques Rusirare, a prominent businessman and owner of Ameki Color, was recognized as the best taxpayer for his outstanding achievement as the only one who consistently paid taxes for eleven years. He was declared an ambassador of RRA in charge of taxation.

Many others were rewarded in various categories. EWSA, Bank of Kigali (BK), Greenhills Academy, ULK and local radio journalist, Clement Musangabatwari, were also recognized.

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