Religious leaders have been urged to mobilise their followers on the importance of tax compliance.
The call was made by Pascal Ruganintwari Bizima, the Deputy Commissioner General at Rwanda Revenue Authority, during a meeting with religious leaders, in Kigali, on Tuesday.
“We appreciate the role of the religious leaders in national development. However, we encourage you to also sensitise your followers on tax compliance,” Ruganintwari said.
Officials said that 95 per cent of Rwandan citizens are believers in various religions, meaning that religious leaders have a big role in transforming their followers into responsible taxpayers.
In the 2017/18 budget, domestic revenue is projected at Rwf1, 375.4 billion (66 per cent of total budget).
“As religious leaders, you should always alk to your followers about the importance of Electronic Billing Machines (EBMs) and urge them to always ask for receipts for all their transactions as consumers because EBMs account for about 33 per cent of the overall tax collection,” Drocella Mukashyaka, the deputy commissioner in charge of taxpayer services, told the religious leaders.
Quoting from the Bible, in Romans 13:17, she said “Give to everyone what you owe them: if you owe taxes, pay taxes.”
Revrand Ephraim Karuranga, the Association des Eglise Pentecote of ADEPR-Rwanda spokesperson, said they will start to mobilise their members about taxation.
‘‘We also have a role to play in the country’s development,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the tax body said it will continue awareness campaigns among Rwandans to increase tax compliance.