In a bid to implement cabinet resolutions on the centralization of collection of government revenues, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) is set to start collecting court fees and fines imposed by courts of law.
The move comes at a time when government has embarked on radical reforms in Public Financial Management which includes streamlining domestic revenue collection and accountability.
As part of the reforms, last year the Cabinet decided to centralize the function of collecting government revenues that were being charged and collected by different government agencies.
With the exception of some revenues that were decentralized to local administrative entities, RRA was given full mandate to collect Non Tax Revenues in addition to the Fiscal Revenues they have been collecting.
Following the problems that were cited in the collection of court fees and fines, under the coordination of the Ministry of Justice; RRA, the Supreme Court, National Public Prosecution Authority and the Ministry of local Government met last month to chart how court fees and fines could be collected and how the outstanding tax liabilities can be recovered.
Where the State wins court cases, as either a plaintiff or defendant, the other party is required to pay damages or fines to the state depending on the court ruling.
In an interview with Célestin Bumbakare, the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Department, he said that the aim of the meeting was to streamline the activity of collecting these revenues and to agree on the mechanism to recover the unpaid fees.
The same meeting also resolved that as a way of facilitating the payment of the liabilities owed to the state for the period up to 2009, debtors should have paid the amounts owed to the state by May 31, 2010 failure of which will attract sanctions.
“The enforcement of the amounts that were not paid to the National Treasury shall be the responsibility of RRA, where the related payments should be made,” Bumbakare said.
He added that with the exception of court fees, fines and proportional tax paid to the districts, Rwanda Revenue Authority is the only authorized government agency that will collect all court fees, fines, damages due to the state and proportional tax. These will be paid to RRA offices or the designated bank accounts for government revenues.
The meeting further agreed that RRA should always be represented in all Public Auctions.
A special unit in the Ministry of Justice will always avail information on concluded cases to facilitate the enforcement and recovery of the monies.