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Cooperatives urged to work more profit and pay tax

Cooperatives urged to work more profit and pay tax In the extensive tax education aimed at raising awareness of tax and compliance within cooperatives, the managers and accountants have been called to strive for more interest as well as abide by tax obligation. Augustin Katabarwa, the chairperson of the national cooperatives confederation of Rwanda, stressed on the importance of tax compliance in the development of cooperatives. He pointed out that any profit organization is accountable of tax payment, noting that tax compliance helps in the clear management of cooperatives assets and income. Katabarwa stressed that “tax is a small thing on big profit,” emphasizing that no individual or cooperative should ignore paying taxes. The bilateral partnership between RRA and NCCR to train cooperatives members countrywide was initiated last year in December, all thirty districts being targeted to benefit from the tax awareness. RRA expects that by training the managers and accountants of cooperatives, the compliance will go higher and hence make a great contribution to the national income. So far over twenty one districts have been covered in that education program. Katabarwa explained that they went in agreement with RRA to train cooperatives on taxation policy, taxation related procedures after many complaints coming to their office to seek legal assistance due tax issues related to defaults in taxation. According to Katabarwa, tax issues within cooperatives led to many tax arrears which can result in complete failure of business. The Chairperson of NCC cautions against tax defaulters, stating that “no cooperative should be closing doors due to failure to comply with tax payment.” While some cooperatives are considering themselves as mutual organization only and ignore tax payment, the national cooperatives confederation calls for managers and cooperatives to value their status of being entrepreneurs and engine of development. Cooperatives cover different domains of the national economy and improve them through working together. Katabarwa stressed that managers should consider tax training as a big asset to their accomplishment of their duties. “Paying tax is a pride as it’s a way of contributing to the development.” Tax education contributes to linking cooperatives and the tax administration as many of the cooperatives used to work in vacuum regarding taxation though some penalties might be applied on tax defaulters. Come together with a purpose Some people have come together in cooperatives targeting to attract some advantages like loans and help from different donors like the local administration and other business supporters. This target might have a negative repercussion once the cooperative is not fully committed to making profit and abide by the obligations and laws. Karasira Ernest, head of taxpayer education urged cooperatives in Nyagatare to be more driven by business and therefore follow laws of taxation in order to operate in a more clear and transparent way. Mwema Bahati

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