African Union launches s 

Sunday, January 26, 2014 

Burundi wants tax compliance

GITEGA, Burundi - The Second Vice- President, Dr. Gervais Rufyikiri, has advised business people to be tax compliant by making sure they are up to date with paying their taxes.

He was recently chairing a meeting in Gitega, central Burundi, involving business people in the area. The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss their challenges and attempt to find solutions. Their main complaint was the high tax tariffs and the difficulties of clearing arrears owed to Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR).

The other challenge is the US$500 levy paid for trucks from Burundi entering Tanzania and yet trucks from other neighbouring countries only paid US$150. He said the ministry in charge of commerce is dealing with the matter.

Dr. Rufyikiri first informed his audience that the business climate in Burundi is significantly improved for the benefit of investors. 

He however criticized the Gitega business people for not taking the effort to study the relevant trade and tax laws before complaining. 

He said Gitega business people should not grumble because setting up the OBR has helped prevent fraud and corruption which was benefiting a few and weighed heavily on those who stood for transparency. 

He also reminded them that the OBR does not set taxes but enforces the tax law. However, he pointed out the need to reinforce dialogue between the OBR services and taxpayers in updating tax rates.

Dr. Rufyikiri also advised business people to get Tax Identification Numbers and register their business so as to work in transparency and fulfill their tax obligations correctly and on time to avoid back payments. 

He encouraged them to report cases of fraud and other malpractices immediately so that the culprits can be punished according to the law. 

He said the government is committed to make the business climate more attractive.

By Claudine Nzigiyimana, Sunday, January 26th, 2014