Rwanda waives 5bn francs taxes, fines due to COVID-19

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The Rwandan government has waived over 5 billion Rwandan francs (about 5 million U.S. dollars) which could have been raised in penalties and fines for tax payers who didn’t pay on time the income tax for 2019 and monthly tax declaration for the months of March to May 2020, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said Tuesday.

ā€œIā€™m pleased to inform you that penalties, fines and interest accrued from the late payment of Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Value Added Tax (VAT), Withholding Tax (WHT) due to the period of March, April and May and corporate income tax of 2019 are waived for taxpayers who did not manage to pay on time due to the hardship caused by COVID-19 pandemic,ā€ Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said in a statement.

The total amount of penalties, fines and interest waived is equivalent to 5.5 billion Rwandan francs, according to the statement.

It however, warned that after Sep. 30,2020 tax payers who will not have paid the principal tax in full will be liable to interest applied to unpaid principal amount effective Oct.1, 2020.

In May, the Rwandan Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning announced a series of tax exemptions, which it said were part of efforts aimed at supporting different sectors of the economy to recover from the effects of COVID 19 pandemic.

Pay As You Earn was waived for a period of six months from April to September for teachers in private schools earning up to 150,000 Rwandan francs net salary (about 161 U.S. dollars).

The waiver also applied for a period of three months from April to June for employees of companies operating in the tourism and hotel sector who earn up to 150,000 Rwandan francs net salary.

The government also exempted masks made in Rwanda to prevent COVID-19 spread from paying Value Added Tax.

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