Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) is seeking a supplementary budget to be able to make value added tax refunds, which have been pending and accumulating over time.
This comes at a time when a section of large taxpayers have expressed concern over delays by the revenue body to pay back refunds which they say is withholding their capital.
Tax refunds come about after having taxes withheld on earnings that amount to more than what a person owes in income taxes for a calendar year.
To process the refunds, RRA cross checks the documents of the taxes filed and verifies the cause of over-payment to discover the surplus amount.
The Deputy Commissioner General at RRA, Pascal Bizimana, told The New Times that the delays in refunds of the VAT are occasioned by shortage of funds to reimburse taxpayers.
The authority, he said, has reached out to the Ministry of Finance to seek a budget to clear the funds.
“Regarding the tax refund, it is true, we have been delaying it because at times there is an issue of money to refund the taxpayers. We have reached out to the Ministry of Finance for additional budget so that we can have a budget for refunds,” he said.
Going forward, with RRA replacing the Electronic Billing Machines with an internet based software that will be offered for free to all VAT registered taxpayers, he said that refunds will be easier and timely going forward.
“With the new systems, we have a way to easily refund because with the automated info from the EBM, you can be able to make an audit and refund automatically. We think, that by next year, it will be easy to refund automatically and reduce time taken,” he said.
Joel Ntihemuka, the Deputy Commissioner of ICT at RRA, said that they have already began an online refund system for privileged persons.
“Today they can claim online and we intend to move step by step to other taxpayers,” Ntihemuka said.
Rwanda Revenue Authority is aiming at collecting about Rwf1.22 trillion in tax revenues by June this year.