Increasing sensitisation will improve tax compliance

Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), over the weekend, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the National Taxpayers’ Day.According to the tax collection body, over the last 10 years, revenue collections have increased significantly from Rwf 81billion in 2001 to Rwf 426 billion in 2010.The increase in revenue collection has seen the tax body now contribute more than 50 per cent to the national budget - a sign that Rwanda's goal of reducing aid dependence is within reach.

Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), over the weekend, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the National Taxpayers’ Day.

According to the tax collection body, over the last 10 years, revenue collections have increased significantly from Rwf 81billion in 2001 to Rwf 426 billion in 2010.

The increase in revenue collection has seen the tax body now contribute more than 50 per cent to the national budget - a sign that Rwanda's goal of reducing aid dependence is within reach.

However, to achieve the self reliance target, a lot more must be done to increase tax compliance.

RRA has invested a lot in technology and customer care to streamline the procedures for payment, but challenges still remain.

Taxes, the world over, are a complicated issue and many a time, people are looking for loopholes within the system to evade their responsibility. Although there are stringent laws that punish defaulters, the problem still persists and has an impact on the country's development plans.

While impressive work has been done in the areas of legislation and enforcement, there is need for more emphasis on sensitisation of taxpayers.

There are people who do not pay their taxes because they do not know how to calculate it or need to understand how taxes contribute to national development.

Once people get a better understanding of how the taxes contribute to the country's progress, they will become more compliant, thereby, not only increasing the revenues, but also widening the tax base.

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