GATSIBO - The Minister of Environment and Lands, Stanslas Kamanzi, yesterday urged Rwandans to always fulfil their tax obligations to reduce the country’s aid dependency.
He was speaking at a ceremony to mark the provincial 9th Tax Payer’s Day in Gatsibo District, Eastern Province.
This year’s Tax Payers’ Day was celebrated under the theme: ‘Choose Development, be Compliant’.
During the event, Banque Populaire, Bugesera branch, was awarded the overall best taxpayer in the province.
Addressing thousands of residents from across the province who had gathered at Kiziguro Parish play ground, the Minister thanked taxpayers for their role towards economic growth and development of the country.
The Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Mary Baine, hailed taxpayers in the province who pay taxes on time and manifested innovation in their business.
RRA, she added, organizes such events not only to encourage compliant businesses to keep up the spirit, but also send a message to other business operators who have not been compliant to take heed.
She added that RRA was impressed by the positive attitude of tax payers, adding that it is a sign that Rwandans are supportive of the country’s vision 2020.
‘In recent years, about 70% of Rwandans were unable to pay taxes, but today, we are happy that the number has reduced to 30%,’ she said.
Tom Rwagasana, the head of Private Sector Federation in the province, thanked RRA for its continuous cooperation with the private sector, including facilitating tax payers’ training.
‘Taxpayers have now become more compliant in paying taxes and we attribute it to continuous support from RRA,’ he said.
Eric Murengezi, one of the awarded cooperative members in Kirehe District, told The New Times that it was exciting and encouraging that the tax body could spare its time to celebrate tax payers’ Day.
In line with this year’s theme, RRA decided to celebrate the provincial event in Gatsibo in a bid to focus on the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the area.