Fresh warning to defaulters manipulating EBMs to evade taxes

On 11 August 2021 at 02:53

Traders manipulating Electronic Billing Machines (EBMs), under-valuing price, quantity of goods or services to evade taxes have been advised against such malpractices that would attract tougher penalties putting their businesses at risk.

The warning follows a series of circumstances under which different traders have been caught in fraudulent acts to evade taxes.

The Commissioner for Domestic Taxes at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Hajara Batamuriza has said that the institution expended much effort in technology to facilitate taxpayers’ transactions highlighting that defaulters dodging taxes will face the law.

Hajara has reminded traders that evaders manipulating EBMs are subject to tougher penalties including cancellation of business license, closing the business for one month among others stipulated by the law No 026/2019 of 18/09/2019.

Regarding the issuance of EBM receipts, the article 18 of the above mentioned law, stipulates that the obligations of the taxpayer releasing electronic receipts include mandatory use of electronic invoicing system, willing issuance of EBM receipts to all customers, indicating the name of sold product and tax rates, specifying the exact price using the EBM, alerting RRA management of disruptive technology in no more than six hours and avoid deleting invoices without proper reasons.

The article 85 of the same law also highlights penalties for a VAT registered person who sells goods or services but fails to use electronic invoicing system.

This person is liable to an administrative fine of ten (10) times the value of the evaded Value Added Tax. But if the fault is repeated, the defaulter is liable to an administrative fine of twenty (20) times the value of the evaded Value Added Tax.

The article 89 of the law No 026/2019 of 18/09/2019 goes far with tough additional sanctions including; closure of business activities for a period of thirty (30) days, be barred from bidding for public tenders and withdrawal of a business register among others.

Shadrach Ntawunezarubanda is among traders who were once handed fines over under-valuing goods using EBM receipts.

He has pledged to stand against such malpractices to avoid adverse effects brought to his business.

“I issued receipts undervaluing goods two times. I was seriously punished that I paid fines worth 10 times the value of evaded tax. The fine doubled to 20 times when I was caught again,” he said.

“After paying fines for the second time, I pledged to stand against similar malpractices and complied with tax rules to regain a positive image. Since then, I have been a good taxpayer contributing to national coffers and proud to be part of national development. Malpractices don’t add up to one’s businesses but rather a step further to failure. I am currently paying taxes appropriately and my business continues to flourish,” added Ntawunezarubanda.

Since EBM technology was introduced in 2013, RRA has been improving it and integrating many features complementing the former tax declaration process to facilitate traders.

Today, RRA has five platforms helping traders to release synchronized receipts.

These include EBM system used in computers of POS by large to small tax payers, EBM system installed in smartphones enabling traders to release invoices in form of short messages. The latter is designed for service providers with transactions not more than Rwf20 million per year and offering a small number of invoices in a long-run.

Other EBM systems include Online Sales Data Controller and Virtual Sales Data Controller used by taxpayers with access to internet or not.

Traders using electronic invoicing system have been cautioned against tax evasion. Photo The New Times