Strengthening voluntary compliance among taxpayers is vital, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning has said.
Amb. Clever Gatete made the remarks on Saturday while addressing hundreds of taxpayers across the country, at 12th anniversary of the Taxpayer’s Day, in Nyagatare district.
He challenged representatives of the business community and local authorities that the government planned to maximise the benefits from taxes.
“Taxes are the backbone of our economy. They contribute 60.2 per cent to our current national Budget. This shows the role Rwandans continue to play in the development of their country. We need to keep this culture to reach our development aspirations,” he said.
Gatete reminded the taxpayers that Rwanda embarked on self-reliance campaign, where every citizen was expected to contribute to build infrastructure, health centres, schools, among others, other than looking to donors for everything.
Ben Kagarama, the Commissioner General for Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), said Taxpayer’s Day was established so that the government can interact with private sector and exchange views on how best they could be facilitated to collectively facilitate national development.
Expanded tax base
He said a developing nation translates into an expanded tax base.
The theme for this year’s celebration was; ‘Promoting Tax compliance is a Collective Responsibility’.
Kagarama said RRA put in place different initiatives to ease the process of paying taxes, especially through embracing technology.
“We continue to do our best to modernise taxpaying system. It should be friendly to taxpayers. The aim is to make the process as easy as it possibly can.”
During the colourful ceremony, a number of exemplary taxpayers were rewarded with trophies and certificates of merit.
William Budeye, one of the recognised businesspersons said paying taxes was a continuously being embraced by different business owners, courtesy of the education campaigns that have taken root in communities.
“People are no longer forced to pay taxes. The issue of push and pull between taxpayers and RRA is no more. Today we feel duty bound to pay taxes after we were sensitised on the importance in general development,” he said.
Despite the fact that there are still non-compliant taxpayers, who take advantage of porous borders to smuggle goods from neighbouring countries, the Eastern Province targets to collect Rwf 42 billion this year.