Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has cautioned traders and buyers who refuse to provide or request the Electronic Billing Machine (EBM) receipts that they risk facing heavy punishments.
This was announcement during a joint press conference with RRA, the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Rwanda Inspectorate Competition, and Consumer Protection (RICA) and Rwanda National Police.
Officials revealed different ways used by traders to evade taxation and advised them to do away with such unlawful act and resort to always using EBM.
Hajara Batamuliza, Commissioner for Domestic Taxes at RRA, said the body has continuously created awareness on the use of EBM gadgets since inception in 2013 to avoid cases of tax evasion.
She added that since then, traders have been urged to issue EBM receipts and buyers asking for the same receipts at every business transaction.
Batamuliza indicated that henceforth, every trader caught not issuing EBM receipt on every sale will be charged with fines and penalties to recover all taxes evaded, and be prosecuted by court of law, as well as business closure for 30 days.
She added that every buyer whose purchases are not supported by EBM receipt, will have the goods seized and auctioned.
According to the Head of EBM System Management at RRA, Emmy Mbera, there has been a general increase in EBM users; at least 600 registering every week, totaling to 77,529 users so far since it was introduced in 2013.
In the fiscal year, 2021/2022, Rwanda Revenue Authority collected Rwf1,885.6 billion tax revenue.
However, the RRA official said that importers make the majority of tax evaders by making under evaluation at customs clearance and not giving full EBM receipts, thus affecting the whole trading chain.
All those who have been identified for not complying with the use of EBM or tax evasion, with their names published in media were warned to pay their fines not later than November 28, 2022 or risk having their businesses closed for not abiding by existing business laws.
Chantal Uwumukiza, a business lady in Kicukiro market said that this new development calls for every person in business to respect the use of the EBM receipts to avoid unnecessary fines/penalties.
“We have to abide by this requirement, it is appropriate for everyone including small scale dealers so as to avoid making loses through tax evasion”, said Uwumukiza.
EBM helps keep track of collected taxes that comprise the largest share contributor to the national budget used in many domains of developing the country.