Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has urged all taxpayers who have an obligation of filing and paying Income Tax Quarterly Prepayment (IQP) for Quarter 2 (April, May and June) to do it before the deadline catches up with them by the 30th September. The IQP is an advance for 2022 income tax, calculated based on income generated during the months of April, May and June. The payment of this tax ensures that all businesses benefiting from Rwanda’s infrastructure, security and prosperity contribute their fair share towards the nation’s development. Just like other taxes, Income Tax Quarterly Prepayment is declared through RRA Website or with a Mobile Phone for Motor Vehicles and Motor Cycles doing public transport, and businesses under lamp sum or forfeit regimes. Speaking to The New Times, Hajara Batamuliza, the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes at RRA, mentioned that only a few declarations have been received by the tax administration so far, despite the fact that the deadline is just a few days away. “Of course we expect to receive more declarations in the coming days. This quarter combines many tax types besides the ones that have to be reported on September 30. Some taxes are normally reported on the 15th, and this is probably why taxpayers tend to deal with income tax later after they have filed these other taxes,” she said. The period for filing and paying income tax for the second quarter always runs from July to September, in order to give enough time to the taxpayers to prepare and get it done. However, it is often during the last days of September that RRA experiences an influx of people who file and pay the tax who end up overwhelming the system. In fact, some people tend to file and pay on the very last day, a behaviour that should change, according to Batamuliza. “First of all, we use technology in the filing process. So, there is a hurdle when many taxpayers try to file on the last day. This is because if the system is engaged by very many users at one moment, it may not work efficiently. And as a result of this, some people may face penalties for not paying in time,” she explained. “So we urge taxpayers to file way earlier. They may still pay towards the deadline in case they want to stay with the cash for some reason. That is fine. However, at least in these last days they should be struggling to pay, not to file,” she added. The law provides for some penalties, specifically fines, in case taxpayers delay to file or pay the income tax. However, Batamuliza says it is not in the taxman’s interest that people should be penalised for such. “We do not really encourage this because this is another sign of non-compliance. That is money (from penalties) that might come in, but we really do not like to see such behaviour simply because people will pay fines for it,” she noted. “So we encourage them to file and pay on time so that they avoid such penalties because they do not favour the growth of their businesses,” she added. RRA uses a number of communication channels to reach out to taxpayers and inform them about how and when they should file and pay the Income Tax Quarterly Prepayment, including social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube, as well as usual means like radio and TV. Tutorials on how to declare this tax are available on RRA YouTube channel.