MUHANGA – Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has started cracking down on business operators who have not been paying taxes and declaring their business transactions since 2004.
The crackdown has raised complaints from the some section of the business community, who claim that the fines being imposed are not justified. A source from the business community said that some business persons have resorted to closing down their business while others are reported to be negotiating with the tax body.
RRA senior auditor in Muhanga, Jean Bodolo, revealed that the crackdown is meant to net long standing tax evaders.
Further reports from the business community in Nyamabuye sector indicate that most businessmen are not tax compliant in which they owe the tax payers arrears running into several millions of francs.
A source said that even high profile business persons among them Protogène Dusengimungu and others have accumulated arrears in excess of over 100 million. Upon being contacted the businessman contested the figure he has been asked to pay.
Théophile Nkudiye, the area Private Sector Federation (PSF) chairman upon being asked for a comment on the issue said that challenges emanating from lack of corporate governance has served to compound the problem.
He also attributed the problem of untimely forwarding of audited accounts to lack of enough personnel within accountancy profession.
“Most of the businessmen entrusted their accounting jobs to only one accountant –Théogène Sebagande- who didn’t declare most of their taxes. PSF believes that this is the root cause of the malpractices, however we call on businessmen to be more responsible”
District tax officer, Vivens Ukubaho says that there is need for the business community to abandon the old ways of doing business and embrace transparency.
RRA on its part has called upon traders in Nyamabuye sector to be more vigilant with making tax returns for the purposes avoid being charged huge fines in the future.
Muhanga district has only two legally accepted accountants handling over 1,500 business men and women-who mostly deal in retail trade. This has also been underlined as one of the problems that the district is facing.