Barely six months after the introduction of Electronic Billing Machines, Rwanda revenue authority (RRA) says the results are impressive.
Speaking at this year’s tax payers’ day celebration on Saturday, the commissioner general of RRA, Richard Tushabe, said the machines are helping the government increase its tax base.
The commissioner also said the tools have helped cut down time spent screening books of accounts.
“Auditors used to spend hours investigating and going over massive documentation, but with the EBM, audits are easily conducted,” he said.
Tushabe also said RRA is now able to catch tax evaders with less effort. The same technology is used in countries such as Sweden, Germany, Greece, Ethiopia and Kenya to combat tax evasion.
More than 6000 traders have installed the machines and RRA expects more than 1000 traders to install the machines soon.
Every registered machine records all transactions and indicates Value Added Taxes expected to be remitted to government coffers.
Only businesses with a turnover of at least Rwf 20m (USD 29,000) per year are obliged to use billing machines. Those who don’t are penalized.
RRA predicts an exponential increase in tax collections at the end of the current financial year. Last year’s domestic revenues to the budget was Rwf782.5 billion equivalent to 62%. In financial year 2014/15, collections are projected at Rwf906.8 billion, increased by 16% from last year.
Meanwhile tax payers’ day was celbrated in Kayonza Distrcit, Eastern Province. The Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi, who presided over the lemony requested Rwandans to fulfill their tax obligations and help the country get rid of dependency on foreign aid.
Bank of Kigali was recognised as the overall tax payer.
By Jean de la Croix Tabaro.