The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, has urged Rwandans to run their business operations with integrity, by endeavouring to meet their fiscal obligations to ensure Government gets the required funding to continue easing doing business.
This, he said, will also go a long way in helping deliver the country's medium-term aspiration of becoming a middle income economy by 2020 and to significantly reduce reliance on foreign aid.
He was speaking Friday at the inauguration of the week-long activities dubbed Taxpayer Appreciation Week, hosted by Rwanda Revenue Authority in Ruhango District, Southern Province.
Ndagijimana said that the launch of the 'week' coincides with the celebration of 20 years since the creation of the tax collection body, which saw the national budget multiply 14 times, while national revenue grew 25 times.
"This is proof to show that our country is moving fast toward attaining a self-reliant economy as long us all of us keep working together in supporting Government programmes including tax compliance," he said.
According to RRA, during the fiscal year 2017/18, they collected Rwf1,252.6 billion, exceeding their target of Rwf1, 215.2 billion.
This growth represented 13.5 per cent increase in comparison to the amount collected the previous fiscal year 2016/7.
The RRA Commissioner General, Richard Tusabe, attributed the good performance to the country's economic growth and stability, use of technology in tax administration, including introduction of Electronic Billing Machines, good collaboration with the private sector, among others.
"During this Taxpayers' Appreciation Week, we are presenting to the population what has been achieved by the country in terms of development, thanks to tax collection and compliance. We also want business people to know that their role is highly recognised while also calling on them to continue on the right track," he said.
Tusabe added that though a lot has been achieved, they still have challenges, including people who are still reluctant to declare taxes or who do declare but deliberately fail to pay, people who don't want to use EBMs or use them inappropriately, the increasing trans-border smuggling, especially of second-hand clothes from DR Congo and Uganda, among others.
Some unscrupulous businesses have resorted to smuggling to avoid the tax on second-hand clothes, which was deliberately imposed by Government in the quest to boost local garment industry.
In the fiscal year 208/2019, Rwanda Revenue Authority targets to collect Rwf1.369.4 billion.