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Rwanda has provided information on new tax laws

The Government of Rwanda (GoR) commends the continued collaboration with Governance for Africa (GFA) in creating awareness about tax laws and policies. The government is confident that with stepped up mass awareness on the new tax laws to hit its target on compliance.

Mr. Abel Ntegano, the Director General in charge of Tax Policies at the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning (MINECOFIN remarked during a sideline press briefing during the stakeholders meeting on tax policies and new tax law in the capital, Kigali on June 23.

Governance for Africa organized the meeting in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.“We’re hopeful that the civil society that includes the tax payers and the partners will do whatever it takes to popularize and create awareness of the new tax laws,” observed Ntegano.

“The government is committed to strengthening the cooperation that exists between it and the partners and we’re optimistic that with such activities the members of the civil society organization will be informed of the new tax laws,” he added.

The new tax laws and empowerment of tax officers at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) were promising.

“The introduction of new tax laws, the continuous strengthening of the capacity of the officials in the revenue authority have already manifested positive results in terms of improved collection of domestic revenue. It is against this background that Governance for Africa (GFA) in partnership with FRIEDRICH EBERT STIFTUNG (FES-Rwanda) intends to carry out stakeholders’ dialogue to discuss areas of Tax Policies, New Tax Law and other tax related policies in Rwanda,” said the statement in part.

Participants decried the fact that tax justice is one of the area that receive less attention and said that a fair tax system has a correlation with improved living standards of the citizensthrough improved domestic resource mobilization.

“Tax justice has for some years now remained one of the most overlooked development issues in Rwanda. There is enough evidence that a number of CSOs have developed interest in the recent years to advocate for a fair taxation system. This is in the long run expected to contribute significantly to the improved domestic resource mobilization and ultimately increasing government’s capacity to fund its development projects by using own sources.

On her part, Anne Felmet, Country Representative for Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Rwanda said promoting tax justice is one of the effective was of promoting social justice.

“And, tax justice is one of the topics where we put questions on how we make sure that everyone has a say, receives equal opportunities, observed Felmet.

“We consider in tax justice the needs of people living with disabilities and the role of the youths and these are very important questions, which we exhaustively today,” she added.

She called on Rwandan citizens to uphold gender sensitivity and ensure families are well sensitized on the importance of the issue.

Other experts who facilitated the meeting included Chantal Umuhoza, a Rwandan women’s Rights Advocate.

The meeting attracted representatives of the civil society such as people living with disabilities, religious leaders, human rights activists, government official and representatives of RRA.

The objectives of the dialogue are to understand the current context of taxation and the role of different stakeholders inharmonization and enforcing of policies and laws in Rwanda, and develop a roadmap with various stakeholders including government entities in relevant policies and tax.

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