Traders warned against tax evasion, bribery

On 19 January 2023 at 05:01

Traders have been cautioned against tax evasion and trying to bribe law enforcements.

The warning follows the arrest of one Elias Niyonsaba, 44, a dealer in timber operating in Jali, Gasabo District, on Tuesday, January 17, who allegedly attempted to seduce Police officers with a bribe of Frw70000 after he was caught for tax evasion.

Niyonsaba was selling timber without issuing the mandatory EBM invoices so as to evade taxes, Rwanda National Police (RNP) spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, said.

"Police officers enforcing tax laws got information from people, who had bought timber from Niyonsaba but did not give them electronic billing invoices," CP Kabera said.

Niyonsaba, however, tried to bribe the officers with Frw70,000 so as to prevent any further legal actions for tax evasion, but was arrested in the act and handed over to RIB.

CP Kabera cautioned the business community against tax evasion and bribery.

"Traders should follow the law, issue electronic billing invoice as required to avoid heavy penalties. Thinking that you will just get away with tax evasion by bribing authorities will only lead you into prison," CP Kabera warned.

Article 4 of the law N° 54/2018 of 13/08/2018 on fighting against corruption states that any person who offers, solicits, accepts or receives, by any means, an illegal benefit for himself/ herself or another person or accepts a promise in order to render or omit a service under his or her mandate or uses his or her position to render or omit a service, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of more than five (5) years but not more than even (7) years with a fine of three (3) to five (5) times the value of the illegal benefit offered, solicited or received.

Article 81 of Law N° 026/2019 of 18/09/2019 regulating tax procedures states that, except for taxpayers registered for the value added tax, any person, who is required to issue an invoice generated by an electronic invoicing system recognized by the Tax administration but fails to do so is liable to an administrative fine of two (2) times the value of the transaction.

Any value addition tax unregistered person, who carries out a taxable transaction and delivers an electronic invoice with under-valued price or quantity of goods or services is liable to an administrative fine of two (2) times the value of the under-valued transaction.

In article 85, a person registered for the VAT, who sells goods or services without issuing an electronic invoice is liable to an administrative fine of ten (10) times the value of the evaded Value Added Tax.

In case of the fault is repeated, the defaulter is liable to an administrative fine of twenty (20) times the value of the evaded Value Added Tax.