At least 2,000 out of 24,467 traders operating various businesses in Nyarugenge District have been found to default taxes.
According to Drocelle Mukashyaka, deputy commissioner for taxpayer services department at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), the traders have not paid trading licences and cleaning fees for this year, amounting to Rwf800 million.
Speaking to Saturday Times, last week, Mukashyaka called on tax payers to endeavor to meet their tax obligation.
She said the crackdown on tax defaulters this month started in Nyarugenge but would be extended to other districts across the country.
They should perceive it as their obligation [to pay taxes], Mukashyaka said.
Vedaste Nsabimana, Nyarugenge vice mayor in charge of finance and economic development, said businesses belonging to tax defaulters risk closure.
“Many businesses have been closed until the owners pay taxes. The district and Rwanda Revenue Authority can’t allow such irresponsible taxpayers to stifle development,” said Nsabimana, adding that taxes are for national development.
Late tax payment attracts 10 per cent surcharges.
Donavine Mukamana , a dealer in bedsheets, admitted that she had operated for four months without paying local taxes.
She described as “irresponsibility” for traders to fail to meet their tax obligations.
“My shop was closed over taxes. We work and forget to pay taxes which I find “irresponsible,” said Mukamana, admitting that tax evasion affects development of both a trader and the country.
Jean-Népomucène Murahangabo, a clothes seller, said there was disorder in the market which makes it hard for tax collectors to track defaulters.
“You find like eight traders in one stall. Traders take advantage of the disorder to evade taxes,” Murahangabo said, calling on fellow traders to always pay taxes on time to avoid inconveniences.
Murahangabo observed that when business is closed, traders lose their time and time is money.