RRA commits to hit 2020/2021 revenue collection target, with the continued private sector allegiance.
This was avowed by Rwanda Revenue Authority’s Commissioner General, Mr. BIZIMANA RUGANINTWALI Pascal during the 18th annual Taxpayers Appreciation Day celebrations that took place on November 20th at Kigali Convention Center.
Under the theme “Support Business for Economic Resilience”, RRA organized this day in recognition of taxpayers’ outstanding contribution to the country’s economic development. It’s an event that registered a number of key representatives from the private and public sector, including the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Edouard Ngirente as the Guest of Honor. During the event, more than 30 taxpayers were recognized and awarded for having paid taxes duly in the fiscal year 2019/2020, besides COVID-19 challenges.
The Commissioner General highlighted that even though the last two quarters of 2019/2020 were affected by the pandemic, there’s still hoped assured for better results in the current fiscal year based on the results from its first quarter. Thanks to the measures and initiatives introduced by the Government of Rwanda to support businesses to recover, and the taxpayers’ resilience and compliance to their tax obligation, the revenue collection for the first quarter of 2020/2021 amounted to Rwf 375.4 billion exceeding the target of 354 billion. This was achieved at 106.1%. The Local Government taxes and fees collection also was Rwf 11.4 billion above the target of Rwf 10.6 billion, hence exceeded the target by 107.6%.
“We owe these achievements to the taxpayers who seized the opportunity from the government’s covid-19 relief measures as well as their resilience and commitment to paying taxes duly amidst the hardest times of their businesses. This has assured us that the next quarters will be even better. Our 2020/2021 Central Government target is Rwf 1,564.4 billion and Rwf 75.9 billion of the Local Government taxes and fees collection; and we count on your usual compliance to the tax obligations in order to achieve this target”, said the Commissioner General.
He further announced that revenue performance for the fiscal year 2019/2020 was affected due to the pandemic with a revenue collection of Rwf 1,516.3 billion contrary to the target of 1,589.0 billion, representing 95.4% of the achievement. He however mentioned that though RRA missed the target by 72.8 billion, there was an increase of 6.6% on the total revenues collections as compared to the previous fiscal year of 2018/2019. The local taxes and fees collection amounted to Rwf 62.0 billion while the target was Rwf 68.2 billion, representing an achievement of 90.8% to the target, but as compared to the previous year’s collection, there was an increase of 2.3%.
The Private Sector Federation Chairman, Mr. Robert Bafakulera, mentioned that if it wasn’t for Rwanda Government’s tremendous support, most businesses would have completely closed. Some of the measures include the on-time VAT refund to small and medium enterprises, extension of deadlines for filing income tax and exemption of PAYE for employees operating in Education, Tourism & Hotel sector, waiver of penalties, fines and interests for late declaration and payment, amongst others. Due to these measures, Bafakulera says that the private sector has been able to continue operating, and not paying taxes would be so ungrateful of them.
“We're humbled by the Government's support to the private sector during the COVIDー19 hardships through the economic recovery fund and all the measures put in place to curtail the spread of the virus and make it easy for us to continue operating. Therefore, we commit to pay taxes duly to return the favor. It would be so ungrateful of us if we didn’t comply to our tax obligations”, asserts Bafakulera.
The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Edouard Ngirente who was also the Guest of Honor commended such a spirit from the private sector. He revealed that in order to continuously address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and social welfare, the 2020/21 budget focuses on the implementation of the Government of Rwanda's economic recovery strategy to the pre-COVID-19 pace, and to uphold the national development plan for 2017-2024 (NST 1). This therefore calls for collective efforts from both private and public sector.
“This requires us Rwandans, to own and accelerate our struggle to self-reliance, and be good taxpayers who comply to our obligation without having to be pushed by the law or any regulatory body”, said Ngirente.
The Prime Minister further appreciated all the awarded taxpayers for nobly contributing to the economy of the country even though it was difficult, given the current economic situation, and assured them of the Government’s continued support.
“In conclusion, I reiterate my gratitude to all taxpayers who comply to their tax obligations, and reassure all Rwandans in general and taxpayers in particular, that the Government of Rwanda will continue to strengthen its economic recovery and response to the effects of the pendemic, as well as continue to monitor closely all the changes that may be detrimental to the economic and social well-being of the population so that appropriate measures are taken in a timely manner”, the Prime Minister emphasized.