The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: RRA Withdraws Privileges From E-Billing Machine Defaulters

Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) announced the withdrawal of administrative privileges from all Value Added Tax registered taxpayers who did not comply with the first deadline of December 31, 2013 for acquisition of electronic billing machines.

This came into force yesterday despite the deadline for owning the machines having been pushed from December 31, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

Others who will be affected are those that will have not obtained exemption from electronic billing usage by RRA, as assessments continue.

"RRA will immediately withdraw administrative privileges formally granted to compliant taxpayers for those who will not have complied with the set deadline of December 3, 2013 for acquisition of Electronic billing machines and have not obtained exemption from its usage," Drocelle Mukashyaka, the Deputy Commissioner for Taxpayer Services confirmed to The New Times.

On top of losing these services, traders who will not comply with the March 31 deadline will incur fines ranging between Rwf5 million and Rwf20 million.

Mukashyaka said the privileges to be stripped off from non compliant e-billing machine taxpayers include; Quitus Fiscal, Blue Channel, Gold Card scheme and all instalment payments for taxes.

Important as well, tax clearance certificates and statement of arrears will be stripped from non-compliant taxpayers participating in public tenders.

"The move is intended to enforce the maximum use of electronic billing machines by VAT registered taxpayers and discourage unscrupulous taxpayers that would engage in tax evasion by not issuing tax invoices to their clients using these machines," she said.

RRA recently introduced a consumer compliance award aimed at encouraging buyers to ask for receipts and be rewarded with cash and prizes in weekly draws.

Despite several calls by RRA urging traders to purchase and start using the machines, only about 800 taxpayers out of 10,000 are using the machines.

While RRA argues that some taxpayers are deliberately not using electronic billing machines, several business owners around Kigali claim the machines, which cost between Rwf180,000 and Rwf450,000, are expensive to purchase.

The machines were introduced in February last year to facilitate the tax authorities in calculating VAT, while they also facilitate traders by recording stock.

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