Gvt waives penalties for voluntary disclosure of unpaid taxes

By Esther Muhozi
On 29 February 2024 at 02:24

The Government of Rwanda has approved a decree aimed at waiving penalties for certain individuals and entities that have not paid their taxes, but voluntarily disclose their arrears and debts. This is one of three decrees approved during a Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, chaired by President Paul Kagame.

In a press conference on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, Pascal Ruganintwali, the Commissioner General of the Rwanda Revenue Authority, stated that the decree aims to encourage those who were afraid of being penalized to come forward with information about their tax liabilities.

The decree allows taxpayers to disclose unpaid taxes to the Rwanda Revenue Authority without facing the usual penalties, addressing the fear among some taxpayers of admitting to undeclared taxes.

Ruganintwali explained that the decision was made after recognizing a persistent issue where individuals knew they owed taxes but were afraid to come forward due to late submission, as the law previously mandated penalties.

This decision comes as Rwanda has joined the Global Forum, which facilitates international cooperation among countries in tax matters.

This membership allows Rwanda to request tax information on Rwandans working abroad and foreigners operating in Rwanda who have business interests in the country, enabling the tax authority to levy taxes on these incomes.

Ruganintwali highlighted that the decree would help those who have not declared certain types of taxes or other taxes to inform the Rwanda Revenue Authority and pay their dues without being penalized.

He further explained that any Rwandan or person operating in Rwanda who has undeclared taxes but has not yet been audited can disclose and pay these taxes under this decree.
Additionally, the decree assists individuals who have already undergone audits but where undeclared taxes were not identified.

They can now disclose these taxes without facing penalties or late payment fees.

The decision covers various types of taxes, including payroll taxes and income taxes, among others.

The Rwanda Revenue Authority announced that for the fiscal year 2023/2024, it has been tasked with collecting taxes and duties amounting to 2.637 trillion Rwandan Francs, which represents 52.4% of the total budget of 5.030,1 trillion Rwandan Francs.