The New Times (Kigali)

4 August 2014

Rwanda: RRA Eyes Wider Tax Base

The Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has launched the 13th Taxpayers' Day celebrations with a promise to widen the country's tax base.

The Tax payer's Day showcases the contribution of taxpayers to national development.

The celebrations under the theme: "Invoicing: A basis for taxation and a foundation for Book keeping", is an opportunity for RRA to display various trade facilitation and communicate prospects to spur business development by providing desirable services, according to RRA's Drocelle Mukashyaka, the Deputy Commissioner for Taxpayer Services Department.

"This year RRA is planning to engage various leaders at different levels in a dialogue on taxation and self-reliance with view to increase partnership in revenue mobilisation and, at the same time, publicly appreciate all those that were exemplary as far as tax payment and mobilisation are concerned," Mukashyaka said at the launch yesterday.

Taxpayer's Day is an annual event that was launched in 2002 through as a platform for raising taxpayer's awareness.

This year's celebrations will be taken to various districts across the country with the national celebrations slated for August 30, in Kayonza District.

The best taxpayers will be recognised during this celebration.

Meanwhile, speaking at the same event, RRA's Commissioner General, Richard Tusabe, said the revenue body will continue expanding the country's tax base to meet its targets.

"RRA will continue engaging various stakeholders at different levels in a dialogue on taxation and self-reliance aimed at increasing partnership in revenue mobilisation, the target is realistic but requires concerted effort from all stakeholders," Tusabe said.

Revenue performance:

The revenue performance (tax and non-tax revenues) for July 2013 to June 2014 stood at Rwf769bn against the set target of Rwf793.2bn, figures from RRA indicate.

"The performance indicates an achievement of 96.9 per cent," Tusabe said.

He said revenue collection during July 2013-June 2014 grew by 15.9 per cent with total tax revenue collection amounting to Rwf758.6bn short of the target of Rwf782.5 billion.

Widening tax base:

As a way of ensuring that RRA achieves its set targets, Tusabe said the revenue body will seek to enhance Value Addition Tax (VAT) invoicing operations.

We will continue to enforce the use of Electronic Billing Machines (EBMs), in Kigali and other cities and towns across the country, he said.

He noted that so far a total of 5,154 taxpayers out of expected 6,896 have acquired EBMs.

RRA announced a number of measures by which it seeks to bolster tax collections, including working with the local government to ensure all traders are registered with the tax administration.

The tax body also plans to improve the collection of local government taxes by investing in modern technology that will assist in having a reliable database for collection, audit and enforcement.

Other measures include continuous enhancement of various initiatives aimed at improving service delivery and business environment including expanding usage of e-services for filing and payment of taxes, enhancing implementation of the electronic window system, and rolling out the gold card scheme in customs.

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