After exceeding the 2008 target by Rwf 57.4 billion, Rwanda Revenue Authority, the national revenue collection body, is set to collect the ambitious target of Rwf 176 billion in the first six months of this year. This was released in an end of year provisional revenue performance report of 2008.
Last year, the Authority had a target of Rwf139 billion for half a year however, the target has been significantly increased this year, based on different indictors especially based on the good performance over the previous year.
“The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning sets RRA’s targets based on the economic performance of the country. Apparently imports are increasing, the efficiency of the tax body is even better and business growth is extremely high…we are confident that we will beat the set target,” an RRA official in the Planning Department told The New Times.
The performance report also attributed the high tax collections of last year to the increase in the number of tax payers registered, the investment inflow that has had an impact on all tax heads directly or indirectly, and the enforcement efforts of the authority.
Earlier this year, Eugene Torero, the RRA Deputy Commissioner General, had attributed the impressive performance of the tax body over the years to improved compliance by taxpayers and recent realignment of systems and procedures to serve the taxpayers better.
The report also stresses the fact that paying tax is one of the most reliable and sustainable ways of economically liberating the country.
In a bid to ensure that tax collections increase to meet Rwanda’s economic needs, the authority has also set priorities that will be achieved by the end of this year.
Such priorities include; establishing more effective taxpayer recruitment and sensitization exercises in order to bring in more potential taxpayers into the tax net, improving utilisation of information technology systems in the regions to maximise benefits from these systems and enhancing trade facilitation initiatives without compromising government revenues and society protection among others.
Officials in the Authority are very optimistic that the revenue collections will continuously increase annually since the economy is growing steadily, although they expressed fears that revenues may go down if Rwanda’s economy is affected by external factors such as the current global economic crunch or if our exports decline considerably.
Other targets the revenue body plans to achieve by the end of the year include the process of realigning their system in harmony with the rest of the East African Community, the five-State regional bloc to which Rwanda became a member in 2007.