There is so much we can do to broaden our tax base


An EBM machine. The machines have played a big role in preventing tax evasion. (File)

Re: Rwanda Revenue Authority has potential to surpass the Rwf1 trillion target (The New Times May 16).

While we all appreciate the move and wish the tax body the very best to reach their fiscal target or go beyond, RRA shouldn’t just focus on a number of known taxpayers and forget about widening the tax base.

This is so important to avoid just looking at increasing levies on some common products like alcohol, cigarettes and construction material, which ends up depreciating the currency.

For example, the tax body should brainstorm on how to tap into the large number of Rwandans in Diaspora and non-Rwandans with relatives in Rwanda.

The transport sector can also add much into the national coffers if a friendly environment is created between Rwanda and other African countries.

For example Rwandans traders should be encouraged to create joint ventures with traders in neighbouring countries which would partnerships that would make them introduce long-haul routes that cut across several countries.

Say, Rwandans could together with Zambians own a large transport company that operates from Zambia-Tanzania-Uganda to Kigali; this shareholding would allow them even operate within Zambia because this is a large country, bearing in mind its vastness.

In the agriculture sector, Rwandans can open borders to its farmers where agreements can be signed to lease land in neighboring countries for short, mid and long terms agriculture.

This can be done jointly with indigenous people of a specific country with which the agreement has been entered.

Rwanda can always stand between to ensure the interests of its people are protected and I believe these would be enormous revenue streams for the country.