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Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) yesterday met with members of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (ICPAR) and other professional accountants for a briefing about new reforms that are being implemented to ease tax payment.

Rwanda Revenue Authority undertook effective policies to collect taxes

RRA’s Business Analyst Fred Karara told The New Times that the revenue body continues to implement more reforms to further reduce the time spent on matters concerning tax administration.

“The first reform being implemented this year is the timely payment of Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds. Thanks to the use of technology in tax administration, as of today, all VAT refund claims are processed and paid within 30 days,” he said.

Karara also said that VAT refund claims can now be submitted through the e-Tax Portal, which has significantly led to reductions in the time required to comply with VAT declarations and issuance of VAT refunds to taxpayers.

RRA is also implementing a single unified declaration form which combines Pay as You Earn (PAYE), Pension, and Maternity leave and Medical Insurance scheme contributions collectively.

This will significantly reduce the time taxpayers spend making payments and declarations.

According to Karara, another major reform being implemented this year is the ‘automated audit case’ selection process which generally is a risk based case selection process that is implemented through RRA’s Business Intelligence system every fiscal year.

“The system uses a risk rules engine to identify and select taxpayers that will be subjected to audit based on their declarations and compliance history. The automated audit case selection assesses taxpayer data against a combination of the major risk parameters such as registration, filing, accurate reporting and payment risk rules,” he said.  

This reform is expected to enhance transparency and efficiency in the tax audit selection and administration processes ensuring that only truly risky cases are subjected to audits.

Rosemary Mugisha is the proprietor of Ibabi Design House. She told The New Times that any reform that cuts on the time one spends doing something is commendable.

“For businesses like me, time is something we value. I am doing most of my books and am the supervisor of my employees, so basically, I rarely have enough time. I am glad that RRA values our time and is going into ICT based payments which really don’t require you to queue or personally be at their office,” she said.

In its Ease of Doing Busines report last year, the World Bank ranked Rwanda the 29th easiest place to do business in the world and second in Africa. On the paying taxes indicator in particular, Rwanda was ranked 35th globally and 3rd on the African continent.