Manufacturers demand for stable tax laws

Local manufacturers have said that frequent amendments to the tax laws by Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) are undermining their business operations, calling for consistency. In a joint workshop with RRA officials, yesterday, the manufacturers said that the tax body’s frequent amendments of the tax laws, creates misinterpretation of laws, which is why RRA and some tax payers are involved in endless legal battles.

Local manufacturers have said that frequent amendments to the tax laws by Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) are undermining their business operations, calling for consistency.

In a joint workshop with RRA officials, yesterday, the manufacturers said that the tax body’s frequent amendments of the tax laws, creates misinterpretation of laws, which is why RRA and some tax payers are involved in endless legal battles.

“Sometimes when we are approached by RRA officials for taxation or auditing, there are always disagreements due to misinterpretations of some tax laws because of the perception of the previous laws,” said one manufacturer who did not want to be mentioned because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the manufacturers’ association.

However, RRA officials said that the amendments are always aimed at setting the best tax law structure for the country.

“In 2005, we were using the 1968 tax laws, which were not suitable for the current business environment. The way business was done in the past years is not the way the current business is done, so the changes are necessary,” said Ben Kagarama, Deputy Commissioner for large taxpayers.

He added that: “For example, there were 50 percent of the punitive tax laws we removed and these were not favourable for the current business environment. These changes are in interest of both the taxpayers and the Government.”

He also noted that some changes were as a result of Rwanda’s adoption of the East African Customs Management Act.

During the workshop, manufacturers also asked RRA to always consult with the private sector in the process to initiate new laws.

The meeting was aimed at identifying specific tax issues in the manufacturing sector.

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