Rwanda: RRA Concerned As Traders Shun Billing Machines


Rwanda: RRA Concerned As Traders Shun Billing Machines


28 May 2014

The tax authority is concerned that many traders, especially in the small and medium business cluster, are scheming ways to avoid using the electronic billing machines, leading to loss of revenue through tax evasion.
The portable machines were introduced last year to electronically manage sales and invoice every transaction made by a goods or service provider.
Every transaction done at a point of sale would have its details stored and simultaneously transmitted to the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) database, thus enabling the easy calculation of taxes.
Although the regulatory agency has endeavoured to sensitise the business community about the benefits of the machines, some traders argue that they are “forced to use them.”

“The electronic billing machines are not useful when there is a blackout. They back up power for utmost an hour and yet we have experienced periods when power has gone for almost the whole day,” Ahmed Mazimpaka, a trader in Kigali, said. “This means that we have to close our shops and go home when load-shedding happens. These machines should improve trade instead of being a disincentive.”

Ironing out challenges:

Mazimpaka was appearing alongside scores of traders that attended a meeting organised by RRA that sought ideas on how to better use the machines.
The Commissioner General of RRA, Richard Tusabe, told the traders that rather than refuse to use the machines, they should report challenges they face early.

“It is a good sign if we all agree that the services provided by electronic billing are important for our economy. Otherwise, challenges such as their power backup can be tackled,” Tusabe said. “We have technicians who can improve the capacity of these machines or repair them whenever they are faulty. What we must do is embrace them and acknowledge their usefulness to normal business. Already you can see that no traders line up for hours at our offices to declare their VAT; the machines record all that information.”


Philbert Haragirimana, another trader, argued that RRA employed tactics to curb noncompliant traders, rather than insisting on sensitising them.

“It is common to find RRA workers setting traps to catch traders who do not comply with using the machines,” Haragirimana said.


The tax body set March 31 as the deadline for all VAT-registered businesses to have acquired the electronic billing machines or risk paying fines, but many did not respond to the directive. Last month, RRA reported that only 4,000 VAT payers acquired the machines as opposed to 7,500 traders.

Source: The New Times, Rwanda

Tanzania: No Respite for EFDs Non-Compliant, TRA Says


Tanzania: No Respite for EFDs Non-Compliant, TRA Says


2 September 2014

Non compliant businesses to the Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) will not escape the ‘legal arm’ following a countrywide inspection campaign by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) in collaboration with the Police Force.
In Dar es Salaam Region, over 10 shops out of 70 inspected in the campaign that kick-started two weeks ago, have been closed down for failure to comply with the use of the devices.
Some were issued with strong warning, paid the fines and allowed to continue with businesses. The TRA move also aims to unearth users of the unregistered EFDs which could be described as ‘fake gadgets not legally recognized by the law.’
The revenue body says, the unregistered devices were brought in the country legally but were not registered for use in the revenue collections process.

“The use of unregistered EFDs is illegal and will draw severe legal penalties,” said the TRA Commissioner General, Mr Rished Bade in news conference yesterday in Dar es Salaam.

He said that the inspection process has already been launched countrywide to disclose non compliant as well as those using unregistered gadgets, who will then face legal measures.

“EFDs are meant to enable the government levy appropriate taxes and ease the collection process. Also they help the business owners keep accurate records of their transactions and for clients to have receipt evidence of purchases,” he said.

According to Mr Bade, the recent inspection in various parts of the country found out that some traders were yet to procure the devices and others had bought but were not using them. Some issue receipts showing less amount of money paid in a transaction.
Few traders have already been arraigned after they were found using unregistered machines thus cheating the government out of its due revenue through tax evasion.
Last month, the marketing and advertisement firm, CI Group in Dar es Salaam was found to be using a fake EFD machine. The managers of the firm have so far been taken to court. Speaking at the event, the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Mr Isaya Mungulu, warned traders reported to be intimidating others who are using EFDs to stop or face the wrath of the police force.

“We call upon the business community to comply to the rules and regulations demanding them to use of the EFDs to avoid colliding with the law enforcers,” he said.


Source: Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)


Kariakoo halts after EFDs protest


Kariakoo halts after EFDs protest


2 September 2014

Business at Tanzania’s busiest commercial enclave of Kariakoo in Dar es Salaam almost came to a standstill yesterday as most traders refused to open their shops, protesting the introduction the Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
A ‘Daily News’ survey witnessed a number of shops along all streets in the sprawling enclave stopped as many customers, some of whom had travelled all the way from upcountry to purchase their requirements were stranded. A number of traders who spoke to the ‘Daily News’ said that they have reached such a decision to protest the use of EFDs following the inspection campaign launched by TRA and the Police Force to inspect the use of the devices among traders countrywide.

“They are forcing us to use the EFDs, which are very expensive and also too inconvenient. We won’t resume business until this matter is resolved,” said one of the traders who said he owns a phone shop. “Using EFDs will be tantamount to working for TRA, which is totally ridiculous.”


The trader stated that he was not going to do any business only to end up paying some of his earning to the TRA.

Another businessman, Athumani Seif, said TRA should sit down with them to find another appropriate tax payment system instead of using EFDs, which he claimed are ‘’a big rip-off.’’

“I don’t think this idea, which they are enforcing on us will succeed. They will keep on forcing us and we will keep on resisting and at the end of the day it won’t help rather than causing more impact. I, therefore, think that TRA should sit with traders and find another more appropriate means,” he said.


However, the TRA Director of Education and Taxpayer Services, Mr Richard Kayombo, said they won’t stop the already started inspection campaign, as they were doing it in accordance with the laws governing orderly business. He warned that non-compliant traders will face stern measures.

“The protest by some traders will not stop the exercise which has started since two weeks ago. Those who want to close their businesses because they don’t want to use the gadgets can do so. Those who want to keep on doing business must make sure that they comply with the use of the devices,” he said.


The TRA publicist said a number of problems concerning the use of the devices among the traders were revealed just a few days after the exercise started.

“A recent inspection has revealed that most traders haven’t procured the device while some are using fake EFDs (unregistered devices by TRA),” he said, adding that some traders have also been issuing forged receipt to customers while some traders had actually bought the device but have not been using it.


Mr Kayombo went on to explain that they will keep on conducting the inspection campaign countrywide and all those using unregistered EFDs as well as those who don’t want to use the devices will face legal measures.

“I call upon all the traders in the country to comply with the use of the devices to avoid any inconveniences as well as ensuring accurate records for their transactions,” he appealed.

Mr Kayombo said that any of those traders who will be caught mobilising others to protest against the campaign will face legal measures too as that was also against the law.

“The police force is keen in supervising this exercise and therefore, those who want to close their businesses should better do it on their own because any kind of mobilisation for collective protest will not be tolerated since that is against the law,” he observed.


According to TRA, the EFDs, which also have to be adopted globally, was introduced to help the government levy appropriate taxes and ease the collection process.
Also, they help business owners keep accurate records for their transactions while clients are assured of purchase records.
Source: Daily News