Proper taxpayer registry, a way to maximize revenue collection
Representatives of East African revenue authorities are convened to Kigali for 5-day workshop with major focus on building the integrity of taxpayers’ registry within the countries in the region.
The workshop is expected to bridge gaps in revenue collection by putting in place recommendations that will boost compliance basing on tax data holding.
“It is important that taxpayers get registered in order for you to have a database which has all taxpayers who should be complying with taxes. An accurate and complete taxpayer registry is the base of revenue collections and tax policies.” Said Berlin Msiska, revenue administration advisor for the region, International Monetary Fund,
The regional revenue advisor insisted on the need of efficient use of technology, clear process of sustainability and regular update of taxpayer registry by the revenue administration, which he says they are at different levels in their practice in terms of registry. “You must have strategy to bring taxpayers in the net if they are still outside the net,” he said.
In Rwanda, the National Taxpayer Registry cleanup project started in May 2016, whereby the team of RRA staff conducted door to door exercise to update information related to business in large, medium, small and micro taxpayers by also providing them with relevant tax information.
The taxpayer registry cleanup has helped to collect and update data, helping RRA to be equipped with more unfailing information. The taxpayer registry has now about 174,000 registered taxpayers. With tax data, RRA as a government body is able to make proper planning of its taxation programs and deliver more on its set target of proper revenue collection according to available and potential taxable resources.
Bizimana Ruganintwali Pascal, the Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority stated that every business registered goes into the tax net and must comply with tax obligations. He said that Rwanda is committed to abide by international standards in terms of taxation, one of which is proper taxpayer registry.
Commissioner General Ruganintwali, said that a clear taxpayer registry includes the whole list of taxpayers, their addresses, their sector of business activity as it help taxation forecast which comprises the kind of training needed and other physical needs as well as making sure they know the laws pertaining to their business categories. “This helps us make proper planning and apply fairness in taxation,” he mentioned.
Ruganintwali further noted that Rwanda Revenue Authority has a list of taxpayers but remains with huge number of TIN owners who do not appear when it comes to paying taxes, which hinders proper forecast. “When we have a big number of registered taxpayers but few compliant taxpayers, it brings troubles in our numbers,” he added.