Importers in tax evasion racket

Bimenyimana Célestin, a businessman in Kigali City is being told to pay Frw 547,413,018 for aiding other importers evade taxes.

Bimenyimana Célestin, a businessman in Kigali City is being told to pay Frw 547,413,018 for aiding other importers evade taxes.

A statement from the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) alleges the trader used to lend out his quitus certificate to others.

Quitus is a tax clearance document issued to taxpayers of great integrity, who have been in business for at least one year and who have paid their taxes promptly.

Beneficiaries of this certificate are exempt from withholding tax (W.H.T) of 5 per cent on import duties and 3 per cent on public tenders as advance payment on profit tax.

“Quitus fiscal is meant to be used by only and only the rightful owner. In this case, if someone lends his/her quitus fiscal to someone who is actually not eligible, that person is liable to fines and penalties in accordance to the law,” the statement reads.

Bimenyimana allegedly conducted a number of imports for different individuals while using his own quitus fiscal to facilitate them and to evade customs duties and other taxes. 

The same person used two different TINs to carry out his business transactions, both as a small and medium taxpayer and as a large taxpayer as well.

“This malpractice has created a number of problems to third parties who transacted with this taxpayer especially during the purchase of vehicles,” the statement reads further.

This money is from both direct and indirect taxes over the past two years and the amount is subject to increase. Such acts have impacts at both the individual level and the national level and are punishable under Articles 60 and 64 of law N°.25/2005 of 4/12/2005 on tax procedures. These are also subject to administrative fines.

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