NYAMAGABE — Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), a government agency responsible for revenue collection marked the Taxpayers’ Day with a promise of quick and quality service delivery.
Celebrations to mark the day coincided with RRA’s 10th anniversary.
At the district stadium, hundreds of local residents and delegations from other districts in the Province braved the mid-morning drizzle to stage a match in recognition of the importance of paying taxes for nation building.
This year’s celebrations were marked under the theme, ‘‘Be a complaint Tax Payer-Build the Nation.’
Presiding over the celebrations, the Provincial Governor Fidele Ndayisaba commended RRA for its efforts in ensuring that Rwandans contribute to nation building through paying taxes.
The Governor said that improved tax collection means a reduced reliance on donors to finance the national budget.
He said, “Tax collections have improved from Frw54 billion in 1997 to Frw251billion in 2007. This has enabled the Country to finance its budget to about 50 percent.”
The Governor said that the increase in tax collection was spearheaded by the economic growth at a rate of 6 percent.
He said that the growth in the economy has meant better living standards and an improvement in life expectancy that has risen from 39 years in 1994 to 51 years in 2008.
The Governor called upon business people to brace themselves for the East African Community market that brings with it over 100 million people. He called for innovation if they are to ripe anything from it.
Also speaking during the celebrations, RRA Commissioner General Mary Baine acknowledged the support from taxpayers in the achievement of the agency’s mission.
The Commissioner General said RRA had improved in revenue collection from a paltry Frw51b in 1998 to Frw251b in 2007.
“Over the last ten years, we have worked on changing people’s perceptions towards the agency and revised laws that were an inconvenience to the taxpayer,” said Baine.
She said that the agency has embraced Information and Communication Technology for efficiency in service delivery.
According to Baine 97 percent of RRA’s operations in the customs department have been computerised. Transactions can be effected on-line. This, she said, will also be done in all its bureaus in the country.
The Commissioner General commended Taxpayers in the Province who contributed over Frw5b in taxes in the year 2007. She however decried the vice of smuggling practiced by some business people. This, she said cripples the economy. She also called for timely payment of taxes.
Francois Rutayisire, the President of the Private Sector Federation in the Province called upon RRA to organise training programmes for the federation members so that they are conversant with tax related issues.
RRA was established 1997 as a quasi-autonomous body charged with assessing, collecting, and accounting for tax, customs and other specified revenues.
RRA is also responsible for providing advice to the Government on tax policy matters relating to revenue collections.