Connect with us

News

RRA: Promoting domestic and foreign investment through a simplified taxation system

Published

on

Creating a good investment climate for both domestic and foreign investors is one of the fundamental factors for achieving sustainable development in the region.

The Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) is working very hard by the minute in ensuring that Rwanda becomes a home for investors by putting in place strategies that enable investors to easily establish their businesses in the country and pay taxes in a friendly environment.

Since RRA’s establishment in 1998, the institution has embarked on rigorous tax reforms especially by providing favourable tax laws and embracing Information Technologies (ITs) in tax declarations and payments.

Notably, the automation of taxation processes has resulted into a reduction in the cost of doing business, paying taxes and increased tax compliance.

Tax incentives by the Government of Rwanda

In order to invest in Rwanda, RRA has a number of investment incentives that ensure investors to have their businesses thrive in Rwanda.

For example, an allowance of 40% of the invested amount in new or used assets may be depreciated excluding motor vehicles that carry less than 8 people.

Also, an investment allowance of 50% is granted if a registered business is located outside Kigali or falls within the priority sectors determined by the Investment Code of Rwanda.

Incentives for exporters: If a taxpayer exports commodities or services that bring to the country between US$ 3 million and US$ 5 million in a tax period, he or she is entitled to a tax discount of three percent (3%).

If he or she exports commodities or services that bring to the country more than US$ 5 million in a tax period, he or she is entitled to a tax discount of five percent (5%).

Goods imported from EAC member countries: Goods that fulfill the rules of origin criteria are not subjected to customs duties. This has increased investment and business growth in Rwanda.

The Single Customs Territory: The implementation of theSingle Customs Territory (SCT) in the East African Community (EAC), whereby goods entering the EAC are cleared at the first port of entry (Mombasa in Kenya) along the Northern Corridor and (Dares salaam in Tanzania) along the Central Corridor, is another trade facility that enables faster payment of taxes and duties in Rwanda, allowing goods to be immediately released without any other delays on their way.

As testimony to this, a truck travelling from Mombasa to Kigali that used to spend between 18-21 days now spends only 6 days to reach Kigali, which is a tremendous improvement and a trade facility that has made trade across the region more affordable and enjoyable.

 

Rwanda Revenue Authority Simplifying Tax Payers’ Lives with E-Payments Platforms

RRA has made a lot of inroads in the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to ease the collection of both fiscal and non-fiscal revenue on behalf of the government over the years.

Today, there are a number of online and off-line softwares and technologies aimed at easing every tax payer’s life in and out of the country.

Electronic Billing Machines (EBMs):To start with, RRA introduced the use of Electronic Billing Machines (EBMs) in 2012 to facilitate businesses pay for their Value Added Tax (VAT), increase tax-payer compliance while reducing the tax collection cost that has always been a factor in developing economies.

Today, RRA has so far distributed more than 16,000 EBMs and seen more than 2 million receipts printed.

The Rwanda Electronic Single WindowRwanda set the trail blazing for the rest of sub-Saharan Africa with Africa’s most efficient one-stop electronic trade clearance system, a computerized scheme that saves time and money.

With the Electronic Single Window, traders and clearing agents say they are making a lot of in-roads towards easing business, thanks to the clearance systems.

The Electronic Single Window system was introduced to allow a single interface for RRA and other stakeholders involved in the clearing of goods like the Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda Standards Bureau, MAGERWA, the Ministry of Health and airline companies through which clearance of goods is enabled.

The Rwanda Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Richard Tusabe, says with Rwanda Electronic Single Window system, all parties involved in trade and transport can easily lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point. This provides a single interface for Business and links all Agencies to one System this facilitates procedures for issuance of permits from controlling Agencies hence reduces time and cost in clearance process.

In 2013, a systems interface was done among Rwanda electronic Single window, Kenya Revenue Authority system (SIMBA), Kenya Port Authority and Uganda Revenue Authority (Ascyuda World) in order to allow clearance of the goods at the port of Mombasa and ensure seamless and faster clearance of goods at Mombasa and real time exchange of information.

The project, supported by Trademark East Africa (TMEA), now has almost all formalities able to be completed on a computer screen.

The Blue channel: This is a facility accorded to compliant taxpayers, which works by not subjecting their consignments to physical and documentary verification during the customs clearance process but rather allows their goods to be cleared faster and followed up with a customs post clearance audit. This cuts down on costs and time lost during loading and offloading of merchandise for inspection at the different warehouses.

Other regimes to facilitate business people include; Pre-clearance, a quick release procedure that allows trade facilitation in that declaration can be submitted to Customs and processed before the arrival of goods.

E-filing and e-payment: Here, taxpayers file their tax returns using their office computers or even laptops regardless of whether he/she is in Rwanda or outside on other business trips. In addition, Micro Taxpayers can file and pay their tax returns using their mobile phones under the new technology called M-declaration whereby they are only required to press*800# on their mobile phones and follow instructions.

RRA’s decentralised taxes software: Further emphasising the ease of collection of district taxes, RRA hasn’t disappointed in delivering a convenient Information Technology (IT) platform for the payment of decentralised taxes, thanks to its re-known IT advancements which best complement their expertise in the collection of taxes.

Speaking while launching the platform last year, Tusabe noted that the new local government revenues management software will not only increase efficiency and effectiveness in collection of decentralised taxes and fee, but bring more people to the tax net without necessarily increasing tax rates.

 

“I am optimistic that the new software will see the whole system of filing and payment of local taxes and fees automated to simplify the process.

 

We have adjusted our IT systems in the past to include online declaration and payment options for taxpayers; it is also necessary to introduce automated systems in the payment of local taxes and fees as a means to facilitate taxpayers at all levels,” the Commissioner General explained.

To access the platform, taxpayers have to log in to RRA website www.rra.gov.rw, click on online services or district revenues depending on the type of services they want.

The new system is expected to manage registration of taxpayers and properties, declaration and payment, accounting and reconciliation, audit and enforcement, tax arrears management and tax appeals.

 

It is also used to manage Rental Income tax, Fixed Asset tax and Trading Licenses as well as decentralized entities fees such as market fees, birth and marriage certificates.

In addition, the new system will provide an online payment platform to citizens where they will be able to file and make payments from anywhere at any time, thus reducing the time and the costs of doing business.

 

Furthermore, the system ensures proactive and timely communication between the tax administration and taxpayers through mobile platforms such as short text messages, alerts and emails.

“The world in which we live is changing towards automated systems taxpayers’ lives revolve in and we don’t want factors like time or distance to be a disincentive for anybody. The new system offers a convenient and simplified way of filing and paying taxes by reducing the time and administrative procedures in the whole process,” Tusabe said.

 

The One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) promoting cross border trade

Improving cross-border procedures through one stop customs inspections or One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) as they are known today is a phenomenon that has significantly improved trade in Rwanda.

To start with, an OSBP is a border facility that combines two stops for national border control processing into one and consolidates border control functions in a shared space for exiting one country and entering another, thus reducing travel time for passengers and freight vehicles.

It uses simplified procedures and joint processing wherever appropriate. The aim of OSBPs is to reduce transit costs incurred in cross-border movement by combining the activities of both countries’ border offices (immigrations and customs) at either a single common office space or at a single office space in either side of the border.

For instance, following the opening of the Kagitumba/Mirama (with Uganda) border post, Uganda bound trucks/trailers are only checked and cleared once by the Rwandan and Ugandan authorities on the Rwandan side of the border while Rwanda bound trucks/trailers are cleared once from the Ugandan side by authorities from both countries as well.

According to Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), OSBPs have significantly reduced border crossing time for trucks/trailers from 2-3days to very few hours.

There are currently five OSBPs that have been completed along Rwanda’s borders which include the Nemba (with Burundi), Ruhwa (with Burundi), Kagitumba (with Uganda), Rusumo (with Tanzania) and Petit Barrier (with DR Congo) border posts.

Other OSBPs are under construction while others seek funding from Rwanda and the region’s development partners.

Those under construction include the Gatuna (with Uganda) and Rubavu/Grand Barrier (with DR Congo) border posts, while those that have been proposed to funders include Cyanika (with Uganda) and Akanyaru (with Burundi) border posts.

Building Trust through dialogue with Taxpayers

Rwanda Revenue Authority continues to build strong relationships and trust with taxpayers by allowing them to conduct independent self assessments to determine how much should be paid in taxes. This has built confidence among taxpayers and increased tax compliance. Open and regular tax dialogues are also held between RRA and the taxpayers to build a mutual understanding of tax issues and their operating environment.

To sum it all up, RRA is there for you to facilitate you to pay your taxes and make you proud for being a part of your countries’ development.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Amethyst Streams
App4 weeks ago

5 Reasons Why Amethyst Streams is the Ultimate Destination for Relaxation and Healing

Casting Room Backstage
Entertainment4 weeks ago

5 Essential Elements for a Successful Casting Room Backstage

Ibomma UK
Entertainment4 weeks ago

5 Must-Watch Movies on Ibomma UK for Telugu Movie Lovers

Piperine
Health & Fitness4 weeks ago

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Piperine You Didn’t Know About

Phone Number
Tech4 weeks ago

5 Reasons Why You Should Save This Phone Number Now

Beliktal
Travel4 weeks ago

Uncovering the Mysteries of Beliktal: 10 Hidden Gems to Explore

James Joyce
Life Style4 weeks ago

5 Fascinating Facts About James Joyce and His Literary Style “Joyciano”

Literotica
Life Style4 weeks ago

The Top 10 Literotica Tags to Spice Up Your Reading List

Emergency Hotline
App4 weeks ago

10 Tips to Remember When Calling the Emergency Hotline (02045996818)

Red and White Magazine
Life Style4 weeks ago

The Ultimate Guide to Red and White Magazine: Everything You Need to Know

Mangatoto
Entertainment4 weeks ago

Exploring the World of Manga: A Guide to Mangatoto

HQFlix
App4 weeks ago

HQFlix: Your Gateway to Premium Streaming Content

Chaleturi
Home and Garden4 weeks ago

Chaleturi: The Ultimate Mountain Retreat Experience

Live Sports
App1 month ago

Discover the Benefits of Watching Live Sports with Streameast

Martie Allen
Celebrity1 month ago

The Untold Story of Martie Allen: From Personal Life to Career Success

Villains
Entertainment1 month ago

The Shocking Truth Revealed in Chapter 36: I’m Being Raised by Villains

Unsuccessful Draft Pick
Sports1 month ago

The Highs and Lows of Sports: Reflecting on an Unsuccessful Draft Pick

Pata Seca
Food1 month ago

Discover the Delicious Tradition of Pata Seca: A Guide to This Mexican Delicacy

TOTK Techniques
Gaming1 month ago

Level Up Your Gaming Skills with TOTK Techniques for PC Players

Utsunomiya
Travel1 month ago

Shipn Utsunomiya: Unraveling the Hidden Gems of this Charming City

Trending