Thousands queue to beat tax deadline

Today is the final day for paying all taxes across the country and thousands of taxpayers have been flocking several offices in Kigali City to clear their taxes to avoid penalties. Yesterday afternoon, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) head offices in Kimihurura, was crowded by thousands of taxpayers, some saying that they had lined up for days. 

Today is the final day for paying all taxes across the country and thousands of taxpayers have been flocking several offices in Kigali City to clear their taxes to avoid penalties.

Yesterday afternoon, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) head offices in Kimihurura, was crowded by thousands of taxpayers, some saying that they had lined up for days. 

“I have been coming here since Monday, but the big number of people has made it difficult for me to clear the taxes,” Daniel Makombe, one of the taxpayers at the RRA head office said.

“I have been here since morning, but up to now, I have failed to make it inside to pay,” Phoebe Kayitesi, another taxpayer said. “I don’t know if I will clear today or tomorrow…but I will keep on trying.”

The taxes that are being remitted to RRA head office include, profit tax for the year 2009, taxes for vehicles and motorcycle registration, Value Added Tax and Pay As You Earn.

Efforts to reach Gerald Mukubu Nkusi, the Director for taxpayer services were futile as his phone was not going through.

But in a previous interview, Mukubu said that the taxpayers had been given enough time. 

“They had three months since January which was enough for everyone to clear,” Mukuru said. “Anyone who will not have cleared after that date will face penalties as stipulated by the law”.

There were also long queues at various sectors where the deadline for paying property, rental income and trading licence tax also falling on March 31.

At Muhima Sector offices in Nyarugenge District, by 2 p.m., about 200 people lined up outside the offices with others still coming in.

In Kimisagara and Nyakabanda Sectors also in Nyarugenge, the turn up was low but officials there said they expected the turn up to increase on the final day.

“Most of the people pay on the last day and we hope many of those who have not paid will pay before the end of tomorrow,” an official at Nyakabanda Sector said.

At Gitega and Kimihurura Sectors in Nyarugenge and Gasabo Districts respectively, the turn up was also high by late afternoon.

According to the taxation law, 40 percent of the total tax supposed to be paid is levied on anyone who fails to beat the deadline, which figure increases by 1.25 percent every month that elapses before the arrears are paid.

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