The Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has issued a tax identification number (TIN) to all taxpayers.
A TIN is a tax processing number. It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the numbers 1, 0.
TINs are for filing purposes only; they serve no other purpose and are not valid forms of identification outside the tax system. TINs facilitate categorization of taxpayers, enabling the tax administration to know who deals in what.
RRA issues TINs to help individuals comply with Rwanda’s tax laws, and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments.
A taxpayer is required to have one TIN for all transactions with RRA. For those eligible to register for value added tax (VAT), the TIN automatically becomes the VAT registration number.
Stipulated taxation law states that:
• The taxpayer must be registered, have an identification number (TIN) from the tax administration, and a tax registration certificate.
• The taxpayer identification number has to be indicated in all tax returns, in all receipts related to trade operations and in all customs clearing import forms or export routing forms.
• Careless registration or negligence in the use of the TIN with the intention to involve in tax fraud /evasion or with the objective to make the tax administration job difficult is punishable by law.
The TIN remains in force as long as the owner carries out business that makes him/her legible to pay taxes. When the owner completes his or her business, the number is never attributed to anyone else.
Holding more than one TIN is an offence against the taxation processes procedures in Rwanda and the same applies to those who intentionally use or borrow other peoples’ TINs to clear their goods.
Taxpayers who engage in such malpractices shall be punished. If a taxpayer finds out that they are in possession of more than one TIN, they should report the issue to the RRA administration immediately to avoid heavy penalties.
To obtain a TIN, one completes a form to which is attached a photocopy of identity card, a photocopy of a trading license for those with trading licenses and a photocopy of incorporation charter or the status of the company.
NGOs, non-profit organizations, embassies, projects and public establishments, they have to annex accord from the government allowing them to operate in the country. For companies it is obligatory for the shareholders to have TIN apart from non residents and minors.
Flavia Busingye is the RRA media officer