KIGALI - Rwanda Revenue Authority has set June, 2009, as the certification deadline for all large taxpayer’s financial statements.
According to a statement from the body the exercise will facilitate the work of auditors and thus elevate business to a more professional level. The financial statements documenting exercise will also help in minimizing errors in the payers’ books of accounts.
“Audited financial statements are more reliable, credible and portray the large taxpayers as custodians of good corporate governance and lay a strong foundation for the growth of their businesses,” said Mary Baine, the Commissioner General of RRA in a press briefing.
In a recent meeting with representatives of Large Taxpayers, Private Sector Federation (PSF) and ICPAR, participants exchanged ideas on the new modalities required to facilitate taxpayers avoid penalties incurred due to errors made during tax declarations and payment.
ICPAR is the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda.
In the same meeting, Baine called upon enterprises to work towards creating good partnerships with the tax body in a bid to create a rapport and joint mechanisms of how to improve doing business through increasing efficiency and proper reporting.
“The process of certification of financial statements is an internationally accepted norm that encourages taxpayers to have ‘clean’ books of accounts and the tax returns,” she noted.
Pierre Célestin Bumbakare, the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes, encouraged taxpayers to prepare their books ahead of time in order to have them certified by professional accountant.
“Although we do not have the final list published and approved, it is vital for taxpayers to prepare their books of accounts, such that when the list is published the audit firms can verify and certify them to meet the required standards,” he said.
He emphasized that the requirement for certification of financial statements is provided for by the law No.16/2005 of 18/08/2005 on direct taxes.
The practice of submitting profit tax returns based on and accompanied by audited financial statements is an international norm and has been embraced by most of the member states of East African Community within the last ten years.
Rwanda is lagging behind compared to other countries: Uganda has had a similar institution for 18 years, Kenya for 40 and Tanzania for 34 years.