Rwanda Revenue Authority has collected Rwf 1.103 trillion in the 2016-17 financial year, exceeding its target of Rwf 1.094 trillion, bringing revenue collection to 100.8% of the objective, the tax body announced on Wednesday.
According to the RRA Commissioner General Richard Tusabe, last year taxes grew by 10.2% compared to the 2015-16 revenue of RWf 986.7bn, or a nominal increase of Rwf 100.2bn.
“This represents an increase of the tax revenue to budget ration from 55.36% in 2015-16 to 56.44% in the past financial year,” Tusabe explained, adding that the tax body targets Rwf 1.2 trillion in 20-2018.
“In the financial year 2016-17, the tax body introduced unified declaration for PAYE and social security, a regional electronic cargo tracking system and a VAT verification control system which reduced gaps in VAT collection and eased the refunding process,” he said.
Tusabe pointed out that that in the financial year 2016-17, the economy was slow as real GDP grew by 5.4% in the first quarter, 2.4% in the second and 1.7% in the third, whereas inflation was 6.8%.
The poor economic performance is attributed to reduced agricultural production due to bad weather, and that food scarcity in turn put pressure on inflation, with indices for food and non-alcoholic beverages reaching 18.6%.
The RRA boss said this led to revenue from domestic excise duties decrease by 7.2%, equivalent to Rwf 5.2 billion in nominal terms, as increased prices of food left consumers with less money to spend on non-essential goods.
“But exceeding the revenue target confirms that RRA can effectively mobilize the revenue needed to finance Rwanda’s development goals,” Tusabe said.
He also thanked taxpayers for fulfilling their duties and said RRA is committed to making tax payment easier through technology and continuously improving taxpayer education and sensitization programs.