RRA calls upon traders’ compliance with EBM regulations

By Esther Muhozi
On 12 March 2024 at 11:46

The Deputy Commissioner in charge of Tax Control at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Emmy Mbera has said that the reason why there are traders hiding from the institution’s staff is because they do not meet the requirements, using the electronic billing machine known as EBM.

She explained, "The reason could stem from their resistance to registering with us or obtaining the necessary permits to operate EBM. Traders may have concerns that are not necessarily related to the objectives of the Rwanda Revenue Authority."

This move comes as the authority intensifies its efforts nationwide, reminding both traders and consumers about the use of EBM as a legal requirement and the consequences for non-compliance.

The initiative commenced on Monday, March 11, 2024, starting in Quartier Matheus, Kigali City.

Some traders have expressed concerns regarding technological challenges, citing instances where they attempt to request receipts that show the Purchase Code, which is a mandatory requirement, but the system does not generate it, creating a dilemma.

One trader told IGIHE, "I have encountered this issue multiple times, and my customer is taken away because the EBM failed to provide a clear explanation. We want them to understand the challenges we face, and they should support us accordingly."

Regarding the implementation of EBM, there is a significant issue concerning people who are mandated by law to use it but do not possess it, while some who have it fail to use it for every sale, including those who issue receipts without indicating the amount transacted.

Since 2013, when RRA introduced the use of Electronic Billing Machines (EBM), registration was initially mandatory only for traders registered for Value Added Tax (TVA). However, this requirement extended to all traders from 2020.

The primary aim was to promote tax compliance, particularly by ensuring that when a trader issues an EBM receipt, the information automatically reaches the tax administration.

In 2013, the EBM was utilized by traders below, but now it is estimated that 94,000 traders are using this technology.

Emmy Mbera noted that since 2013, there have been notable achievements, but the journey continues.

She stated, "In reality, EBM has been introduced to rear-end traders, and TVA is applied to them as well. When they purchase various items, they pay the tax to the traders, and one clear evidence is that the tax collected reaches the government and contributes to its development."

Due to the implementation of EBM, tax revenue from VAT increased from Rwf259.1 billion in 2013/14 to Rwf699.3 billion in 2022/2023, representing a growth rate of 170%.

This increase significantly impacted VAT revenue, which rose from Rwf120.2 billion in 2013/14 to Rwf538.3 billion in 2022/2023. Currently, VAT revenue constitutes about 34% of total revenue collected by RRA.

Traders were reminded of advantages of using EBMs.