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RRA, Gov’t Accountants discuss new income tax law

By Ziggy Fikiri Nshimiyimana RRA officers are meeting accountants at public institutions discussing the newly enacted Income Tax Law No. 016/2018 of 13/04/2018. The new law repeals law No. o 16/2005 of 18/08/2005 on Direct Taxes on Income. The revision aims mainly at harmonizing the income tax law with the recently published investment code (Law no 06/2015 of 28/03/2015 relating to Investment Promotion and Facilitation). Also, the old had been repealed several times, and officials say it’s better to put in place a new and consolidated Income Tax Code. The previous law did not clearly define an employee and consequently some employees used to hide themselves in consultancy contracts so that they only paid 15% WHT yet they work under same circumstances like other employees. The law No. 016/2018 also defines a liberal profession as a profession exercised on the basis of special skills, in an    independent manner, in offering services to the clients. Liberal professionals are therefore excluded from lump sum and flat tax regimes as they are able to keep books of account and declare and pay taxes basing on the real income.) Deputy Commissioner for Large Taxpayers, Mr. Lawrence Gakwaya said that the new law gives more clarity to tax and offers more chances to maximize revenues, taking example of taxpayers who declare as consultants’ status and pay 15% of their remuneration while their actual pay as you earn would be 30%. The new income tax law clarifies that fifteen percent (15%) shall be withheld on public tenders if the recipient is not registered with the tax administration or he/she is registered but does not have his/her previous income tax declaration instead of 3%. In this case, officers in charge of making payments in their institutions must enforce that law before making payment. Mr. Gakwaya cites cases where taxpayers used to present to the tax administration motor vehicle tax identification number in order to benefit from favor given in tender, but now the TIN must be clearly indicating the kind of tax under which the taxpayer was registered for. Jean Pierre Ndacyayisenga, an accountant says the new law enhances the previous one and helps ‘us perform our tasks regarding taxes’. “This new law provides clarification on withholding taxes,” he said, adding that the new law helps prevent tax evasion hence improve tax payment. Ends

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