Any business that will not have installed an Electronic Billing Machine (under the Rwanda Revenue Authority e-billing initiative to is ease taxation) by April 1 will be penalised. E-billing, which has become the talk of the town in the City of Kigali and other areas around the country, is benefits to taxpayers and promotes compliance.
The government is optimistic that proper use of these electronic gadgets to issue invoices will increase tax revenues, especially the Value Added Tax (VAT) that is paid in by the final consumer. That’s why consumers are also benefiting from the ongoing Consumer Compliance Awards administered by RRA with the aim of promoting the culture of asking for receipts by the Rwandan community.
It is also believed that a responsible and patriotic generation of consumers can help the tax body become efficient in the collection of VAT by always demanding an electronically-generated receipt after every purchase.
The move is also likely to encourage voluntary billing machine compliance. This is because of the fact that most buyers do not take the initiative of requesting for invoices whenever they buy commodities irrespective of the likely bad effects, especially in circumstances when the goods bought can be easily confiscated, requiring one to present evidence (a receipt) that the items are theirs.
The issuance of receipts to clients was not an easy task before the introduction of electronic billing machines because it was thought to ‘time consuming’ by the buyer and seller. However, with this new e-billing machines installed at taxpayers’ premises, it is now easier than ever. This has also made easier for buyers to demand for receipts for items bought (otherwise one risks having their goods confiscated on the way home as stolen or smuggled items).
With the use of electronic billing machines, one can easily monitor a multiple of their shop’s operations and manage stock, thus limiting the chances of mismanagement by unscrupulous employees. You can also easily get your books of accounts correct at all times, making it easy to file tax returns than before.
For those taxpayers who qualify for VAT refund, it does not take a long time before your money is cashed back into your accounts by the tax body.
So, it is important that every business operators starts using electronic billing machines as they will help in monitor of all transactions, facilitate payment of genuine taxes with no penalties imposed after the set deadline of March 31.
The writer works with Rwanda Revenue Authority Communications Department