Some traders are forging documents to record goods at a lower value compared to their actual prices as an attempt to pay less tax, the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) Commissioner General, Pascal Bizimana Ruganintwari, has exposed. He added that some of RRA’s customs officers might be implicated in the process as they clear such goods that are obviously undervalued. Ruganintwari disclosed this during the Taxpayers Appreciation Day held in Kigali on Friday. ALSO READ: Best taxpayers recognised as EBM use drives up VAT collection “There are traders who are forging customs documents by reducing the number or types of goods, especially aiming not to pay taxes adequately at customs,” he said. “We want that judicial organs consider the issue so that such people be punished to stamp it out because it hinders taxation,” he said. Gregoire Shema Hakizimana, a businessman who sells mobile telephones, said that there is an issue where traders buy products from the same factory at the same price, but they sell them at different prices on the local market. “The reason for that is that they do not pay the same tax,” he said, pointing out that such a gap must be addressed to ensure fair treatment of all traders. Reacting on the query, Ruganintwari said that it is due to some traders who undervalue goods they import through counterfeiting documents so that they pay less tax. After learning about the issue, RRA took measures, including suspending employees linked to such fraudulent acts “because we do not understand how an employee can find goods whose value is reduced in documents while it is obvious that the cargo is more than that, and let it be cleared.” Some traders are afraid because they maybe have forged documents, and they feared to take their goods out of customs warehouses. “Others, at the advice of declarants, refused to get them (their goods) out (of warehouses) so that we first do them a favour for their goods to be let in without checking,” he said. Ruganintwari pointed out that it is possible that some customs officers are not assuming their responsibilities as it should, and RRA is probing the issue. So far, RRA has suspended four employees because it realised that their customs work was dubious, he exposed. Elaborating on the issue that same goods are sold at different prices on the market, he said that undervaluation of goods before entering the country might be one of the factors for that. He indicated that when traders have deflated the value of invoices for goods issued from the countries where they purchased them, it becomes difficult for them to sell them at expected prices as they do not give invoices [to buyers]. As a result, they might sell them at lower prices since they did not pay due tax.