Celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) and month-long countrywide events to observe the ‘2018 Taxpayers’ Appreciation Day’ will be launched in Southern Province’s Ruhango District on Friday this week.
The announcement was made by the RRA Commissioner General Richard Tusabe on Wednesday while meeting the media in Kigali.
He said that the tax collection body has achieved a lot over the last 20 years since it was created and that marking its 20th anniversary will be an opportunity to thank citizens for their contribution in building the country through paying taxes.
It will also be a chance to re-engage Rwandans so they can commit to continue efficiently paying their taxes as the country moves towards economic self-reliance, the official said.
“We think it’s a long journey looking at where we have come from in our country but also a reminder that we still have a long way to go,” he said.
He added: “Going forward we believe that there is still a long way to go; there is still a lot that we can achieve together”.
Starting in Ruhango on Friday, the events to mark achievements in tax collection will also move to other parts of the country during the month-long campaign.
The month-long events will end with a national ‘Taxpayers’ Appreciation Day’ in Kigali, which will be an occasion for the RRA to announce how much money was collected in the completed financial year 2017/18.
The body had targeted to collect Rwf1,200.3 billion for that fiscal year, which was expected to account for 57.3 per cent of the National Budget.
The tax collection body also targeted to collect Rwf51.5 billion from local governments in the completed financial year, an increase of Rwf3.6 billion or 7.5 per cent in comparison to the amount collected in the financial year 2016/17.
Tusabe said that celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the RRA and ‘2018 Taxpayers’ Appreciation Day’ will be an opportunity to challenge every citizen at how much more Rwandans can achieve in line with their aim to be self-reliant.
“We are still where we wouldn’t like to be in terms of dependence,” he said.
The Rwandan government, which has committed to turning the country into a middle income economy by 2020, has aimed at reducing reliance on foreign aid, with its budget currently depending on donors’ grants at about 16 per cent.
At the meeting with the media, RRA Commissioner General urged all Rwandans to be aware of the government’s programme to develop the country and support it through paying their taxes.
“Let’s all be aware that we have a responsibility to implement the government’s development programme,” he said.
The government expects that money collected from domestic taxes will be up 13 percent in the current fiscal year 2018/19 as it seeks to fund a Rwf2.4-trillion budget.