Tax advisors tipped on compliance

Tax advisors have been challenged to improve tax compliance among business operators to spur revenue collection. Martin Nkurunziza, the chairman of the Rwanda Association of Tax Advisors, said there is need for them to double the efforts and reach more taxpayers, arguing that this would increase compliance and collections.

Nkurunziza, who was speaking during a one-day training of tax advisors in Kigali on Friday, said their services are part of the solution to challenges like electronic billing machine fraudsters and tax evasion.

The training, facilitated by Rwanda Revenue Authority, attracted over 200 tax advisors from across the country. “Paying taxes concern everyone. So, we have to ensure that our role supports government’s efforts to raise tax revenues to fund all its programmes. Besides, RRA considers tax advisors as an effective tool toward improving tax compliance in the country.

“Therefore, we should be at the forefront of championing compliance among all segments of taxpayers,” Nkurunziza said.

Aimable Kayigi Habiyambere, the commissioner for domestic taxes at RRA, urged tax advisors to work with integrity. “You must also learn and understand the tax laws because tax advisory is about teaching people how they can pay taxes and the importance of paying taxes timely,” Habiyambere said. He noted the some people evade taxes “because they lack skills on processes, like tax declaration that are done online”. “There are illiterate taxpayers, who can’t use computers, that’s why we need you to reach out to them and guide them,” he said.

Felix Nkundimana, one of the participants, called for more public awareness drives, saying many people lack tax information though they pay taxes. He added that this would also help in fighting vices, including tax evasion and smuggling.

Meanwhile, the tax body said there is still low compliance by taxpayers on using e-billing machines, especially among construction sector players and hotels. RRA said smugglers have also adopted new techniques, making it hard to apprehend them.