The Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority, Pascal Bizimana Ruganintwali has emerged as the Public Sector Global ‘CEO of the week’. He is our CEO of the week from 16th to 23rd September 2023.
With more than a decade worth of expertise in the Finance/Revenue sector, Mr. Bizimana took the reins from Richard Tusabe in 2018 and has crafted a distinctive leadership style.
In a significant step to enhancing the Authority’s tax information exchange capabilities, Bizimana’s administration inaugurated the Office of Exchange of Information (EOI) to serve as a central hub for the exchange of information between the RRA and tax authorities in other countries.
This strategic initiative holds the potential to effectively combat tax evasion and avoidance while concurrently promoting transparency in taxation.
With the aim of raising awareness of tax and its importance among youths and the general public, the Authority 2019 sponsored a high school football competition as part of celebrations of the 17th Taxpayers’ Appreciation Day.
Participants in the league were nine secondary schools namely Lycee de Kigali, Camp Kigali, International Technical School, Petit Seminaire Rwesero, Hamdan Bin Rachid secondary School, ETO Nyamata, APE Rugunga, Kagarama Secondary School and APAER-Rusororo.
In his efforts to boost the economic development of the country through assessing, collecting, and accounting for tax, customs and other specified revenues, the Authority in 2023 gazetted the Tax Procedures Law no 020/2023.
The new law replaces the Tax Procedure Law No 026/2019 that has been in use. Other changes stipulated in the law include but not limited to the following;
Reduction of interest rates for non-declaration of tax
According to the new law in Article 80, in case taxpayers declare taxes on the due date but fail to pay the declared taxes, the applicable interest rates were reduced as follows; 0.5% when the due taxes were not paid for a period not exceeding 6 months, 1% for the period between 6 and 12 months and 1.5% for more than 12 months.
Previously the interest rates for the late payment were fixed at 1.5% and calculated monthly.
Further still, in article 81 of the new law, the administrative fines imposed on micro enterprises (whose annual turnover is less than 2 million Rwf) have been reduced from Rwf 100,000 to Rwf 50,000, for any person who fails to provide information on time, one who does not provide information or who provides incomplete, incorrect or misleading information following a request of the Tax Administration.
Appeal to the Commissioner General
Regarding the appeal to the Commissioner General, Article 51 of the new law stipulates that a taxpayer who is not satisfied with the contents of the tax assessment notice or notification of an administrative fine appeals to the Commissioner General against the disputed amount within a period not exceeding thirty days from the day of receipt of the notification.
In this case, the Commissioner General suspends the collection of the tax that is subject to appeal if the taxpayer who is appealing has paid the undisputed portion of the tax.
Seizure of the property of a taxpayer
Contrary to the previous law, the new one has introduced a provision allowing taxpayers 15 days from the day their property is seized to apply to the Tax Administration for authorization to sell the seized property by themselves to clear tax due.
The taxpayer is granted 90 days from the day of receiving feedback on their application to sell the property and clear the tax due.
This amongst other significant moves Bizimana’s administration has done in these global striving times.
With his true belief in transparency in operation and inclusion, Mr. Bizimana in March 2023 signed a Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA); a framework that provides an efficient mechanism for information exchange among member countries of the Global Forum (GF) on Transparency and Exchange of Information For Tax Purposes.
Under the agreement, countries will exchange key information and will be able to trace and fight tax malpractices and crimes, among others, tax evasion and illegal financial activities, the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) said.
Appointment into office in 2018, Mr. Bizimana is expected to run for five years and is as well permitted to go for reappointment once.
The highly rated CEO of the week is a weekly accreditation of top-performing CEOs whose policies and leadership have brought transformation to society. This publication is targeted at showcasing the achievements of CEOs across the world.