As she announced the quarterly results yesterday, the Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) said that while the body had surpassed its targets, it had equally unearthed tendencies by some individuals and companies that knowingly default on their tax obligations.
It’s a shame, today, that any right thinking Rwandan should be evading taxes. The leadership in this country have repeatedly talked about the importance of generating internal resources to run government expenditure.
The central theme for this call revolves around restoration of our dignity and the ability to finance our own budgetary expenditure instead of waiting for a helping hand from someone else.
In addition to restoring the diginity of the Rwandan people, which gives us an independent voice in running our own affairs, we should give to ‘Caesar what belongs to Caesar.’
Despite RRA’s initiatives such as tax awareness campaigns, tax payers’ day, periodic tax audits and a host of legislative initiatives , the of tax body says tax fraudsters and evaders continue to cheat the system.
RRA intends to name and shame individuals and companies involved in tax evasion with the objective of exposing the culprits.
While this would work as a short-term deterence, it is rather too soft a punishment, considering the seriousness of the crime.
Tax evasion is an offense that calls for criminal prosecution. Therefore, RRA should crack the whip and parade these culprits before the courts of law.
By evading, avoiding or defaulting on taxes, those involved are not only cheating government, but are also short-changing the public. It is the kind of selfishness that should be tackled head-on.
It is the taxes that we pay that will decrease our country’s dependence on Aid and propel this nation to greater heights.
As such, RRA should go beyond naming and shaming, to impose severe punishments that will get all taxpayers conforming.