Rwanda Revenue Authority’s (RRA) 10th Anniversary and 7th Tax-payers’ Day celebrations have attracted several foreign delegates. By press time, ten countries had confirmed participation in the celebrations slated for Saturday this week.
The delegates are from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ireland, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Holland, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Zambia and Sierra Leane are coming to learn (from RRA) how we organise the Taxpayers Day,” Annette Birungi, RRA head Public Relations yesterday said.
Adding that, “But it’s a norm for East African Community member states including Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to join in the celebrations because we are sister countries.”
According to a statement from the Authority, the celebrations will be used as a unique platform to mobilise residents and set a national agenda through which the Vision 2020 objectives will be realised.
The vision is a government economic development strategy that aims at ridding the country of ignorance disease and poverty by year 2020. With this agenda, its hoped that the per capita income of Rwandans will grow from $220 in 2000 to $900.
Under the theme, “Be a compliant tax payer, build your nation,” the statement says the celebrations will also take stock of all the achievements and challenges that the organisation has faced over the last ten years and formulate strategies for the future. According to revenue collection data, RRA has continuously maximised revenue collections since its creation.
In 1997, government collected Frw54.3 billion as domestic resources from customs and income tax. But in its first year of establishment—1998, the tax body collected Frw68.2 billion which was 25.6% growth. Last year, the tax body collected Frw252 billion.
The statement says celebrating the taxpayers’ day is vital. RRA will sensitise taxpayers on the need to contribute to national development and national economic independence. Currently half the national budget is funded by RRA.
Through active participation of all taxpayers and stakeholders, RRA believes a strong groundwork will be laid such that the organisation transforms into a world class tax administration.
Birungi said, “It is an opportune time to appreciate compliant taxpayers and at the same time sensitize those taxpayers and stakeholders who are not.” She added that the RRA will consult the taxpayers and stakeholders about how they can be served better.
The occasion will also be used to market the organisation as the best service provider that lures investors into the East African region in general and into Rwanda specifically.