Rwanda: RRA Loosens Up On Taxpayers Amidst COVID-19

An aerial view of Kigali Convention Centre and its environs in Kimihurura.

Rwanda Revenue Authority(RRA), on March 20, announced its short term measures to support taxpayers amidst Coronavirus outbreak.

The measures include suspension of the tax audit, an extension of financial statements certification, suspension of the 25 % down payment admissible for amicable settlements as well as an expansion of online services.

The suspension of the tax audit, the notice explained, is in a bid to reduce physical interactions with taxpayers for a period of one month.

The notice follows the Ministry of Health's communiqué, confirming six more cases of coronavirus patients, making a total of 17 cases without any death of coronavirus patients registered in Rwanda.

Nevertheless, the communique did not extend the period of declaring and paying the profit taxes for 2019.

"Taxpayers will declare and pay their profit taxes for 2019 by 31st March 2020 as provided by the law," the notice noted.

Those who may not have finalized certification by the due date, the notice added, will be required to declare and pay profit tax for the above mentioned period based on the financial statements not yet certified.

On the other hand, the suspension of the 25% downpayment for outstanding tax admissible for amicable settlements shall last for a period of one month and the request shall be done online.

The notice also specified in a bid to facilitate taxpayers with online services, they (taxpayers) have been provided with "specified mobile numbers and emails to call or send specific messages/request RRA services."

Taxpayers want exoneration

The coronavirus outbreak has heavily impacted economic operations and Aimable Tuyishime, the head of Impixitec, a company that sells IT and Tech gadgets thinks taxpayers should be exonerated.

"The measures are encouraging and relief for taxpayers, however, we wish to be exonerated for this term as Covid-19 has shaken economic activity in our country," Tuyishime told The NewTimes.

Last year, on November 29, during the taxpayers' appreciation day, Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said that taxes contributed 65.6 percent to the 2018/2019 budget and that the target will increase to 68.3 percent in the 2019/2020 fiscal year considering the budget of Rwf2. 876 billion.

In the 2018/19 fiscal year, Rwanda Revenue Authority collected Rwf1,422 billion surpassing the target of Rwf1,392 billion.

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