RRA set to recover Rwf55bn from tax defaulters

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m_RRA set to recover Rwf55bn from tax defaulters

RRA Commissioner General:  Richard Tusabe

The country’s tax body, Rwanda revenue Authority (RRA) is setting up efforts to   recover tax arrears    worth rwf 55 billion from defaulters.

The  body  says that the  list of  defaulters of which  most  of these are middle  sized companies  has been published have been called to fulfill their obligations  or face legal action.

This implies that   the defaulters will have to agree to pay tax arrears which   include fines, penalties as well as interests or be taken before commercial courts   for legal proceedings.

Revenue Authority is  working to implement  the  article 49 of  the law no.25/2005 of  4/12/2005 that gives powers  to  the tax body  to  ask  tax payers who  have  owes  government taxes to  pay the said taxes within  15 days.

“We are not interested in taking them to court, that is not our wish but we want them to come to us and we agree on amicable settlements without affecting their business operations,” said Tushabe, Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority

Most defaulters according to revenue Authority   have closed their businesses and opened others under their relatives’ names while other claimed they are financially struggling and cannot manage to pay taxes.

While others, sources say have abandoned business and left the country, which the body says will set up means to follow them up.

But some of the defaulting companies who didn’t want to be quoted said that  the   tax  body over taxed  them  while they were faced with financial  difficulties  thus  bringing  their turnovers down.

“This is an issue of dishonesty and lack of dignity. If you are financially struggling, our laws allow that you can go for insolvency and we cannot follow up for taxes,” Tushabe added

He adds, “We are   always willing to listen to these business on what they are going through and how they wish to pay these taxes but most of these do not even come to discuss with us”.

Accordingly, the Revenue body allows businesses which may be facing financial challenges to   write to the Ministry of Finance and `economic planning explaining on how they wish they can be assisted in fulfilling their duties in paying taxes.

Tushabe says that there is optimism that the response to   pay the arrears from the said business is ikely to be positive as the forts list that   totals around Rwf8 billion, over Rwf1 billion is yet to be recovered.

The Commissioner General notes that the defaulters who will not have paid the tax arrears will have their property attached and later put to  public auction to  get  money to pay  the arrears.

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Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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