Clients of Bank de Kigali (BK) will no longer need to brave the long tax payment queues during peak hours at the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) headquarters in Kimihurura.
This comes after RRA entered an agreement with the bank to collect Value Added Tax, profit tax and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) revenues on its behalf with effect from today.
“With BK on board, we believe that there will be a few tax payers queue at the headquarters to pay taxes especially during peak hours because a big percentage of our large taxpayers are clients of this bank,” Gerald Nkusi Mukubu, the RRA Director for tax payer services told The New Times yesterday.
Mukubu also added that this is among the efforts the Authority has taken to ease the tax payment process.
“Several banks were invited to partake in this cause, however, only BK has met the required preconditions thereby joining Ecobank in the exercise of collecting revenues,” Mukubu explained.
James Gatera, the Director General of BK, also attested that such an agreement would ease tax payment services.
“Our major aspiration is to offer our clients the best services so with a view of easing their tax payment procedure we decided to partner with RRA so that we can receive taxes on behalf of the tax body. We would not want our clients to pay taxes in other banks anyway,” he added.
It is expected that other banks like the Commercial Bank of Rwanda (BCR), Fina Bank and Banque Populaire among others will come on board as and when they fully meet the set conditions.
Preconditions include an information technology system that allows entered data concerning taxes to be accessed by both RRA and the banks they are working with.
The commercial banks are also required to have in place a quick transfer system that would ensure that banks are able to transfer the tax money collected to the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) within three days.
According to Mukubu, this is necessary to ensure that government revenue is not utilised by banks for other financial benefits. It is also necessary to have a clear interface between the bank system and tax system.
He added that if all banks meet the set conditions which he said would not only deal with the problem of long queues but also enable taxpayers to clear their dues in a cost effective way.
“It is easier and cost friendly for a taxpayer to clear their dues as they carry out their usual bank transactions rather than driving all the way to headquarters and spend so much time on long queues,” he said.
In a bid to facilitate this move, RRA officials will be posted at all branches of BK and these will assist the taxpayers in as far as tax declaration is concerned.
Other efforts that the authority has introduced to simplify tax payment also include removal of the TIN number declaration system which was a longer tax declaration process to a quicker method.