Govt to advocate for bank loan holders, soften tax liabilities over coronavirus losses

On 16 March 2020 at 05:35

The Ministry of Trade has announced it is to work with concerned institutions to see how taxpayers and those with bank loans can be helped over losses made in the wake of coronavirus. The promise follows shutdown of some activities as one of the preventive measures against spread of coronavirus.

Rwanda has implemented stringent measures to control the virus including suspension of events that would attract big numbers of people.

The closing of different activities and other steps will doubtless have consequences on many businesses as sales are to register a slump.

The government began consultations with the institutions concerned so that those whose businesses got affected are facilitated with simplified modalities of paying taxes and servicing bank loans.

Hakuziyaremye announced that consultations have begun.

"We have consulted RRA on taxes. You know this month of March is when institutions, industries, and business people pay corporate taxes. This is to ensure that those who cannot pay because of lack of enough income due to poor customer turn up are not penalized.”

She adds: "It is being analyzed to see different levels, industry, a business person and the losses incurred, how much, how we can we help so and so. PSF promised to show us areas where we can help them on Monday the 16 2020. It does not mean we will agree to whatever but those liable to losses will be helped in the area of taxes.”

Hakuziyaremye explained that those with bank loans would be considered given that they may not pay as scheduled.

She said bank loans are also a challenge that needs to be addressed banks may continue to demand monthly repayment yet the receipts will have fallen below the usual. She, therefore, emphasized they are consulting with banks and the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) to see how they can intervene so that businesses do not collapse.

The Minister cautioned against hoarding and hiking prices for those businesses that are still open. She also reiterated the importance of proper hygiene and keeping the social distance in order to keep the loop curve of coronavirus as low as possible.