Economy

OBR determined to expand tax collection

Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR) in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs has organized this 7 March, a closing sensitization campaign on tax collection. Decentralization and tax reduction were the main concerns of taxpayers.

Léonard Sentore, OBR Commissioner General: “We opened two offices in the country and plan to open more others and expand the collection of taxes”

Léonard Sentore, OBR Commissioner General: “We opened two offices in the country and plan to open more others and expand the collection of taxes”

“We don’t know how the rent tax will be levied in addition to different taxes we must pay”, says a house owner in the capital Bujumbura. He says that with the new criteria of the State budget, Burundi Revenue Authority must play an important role in sensitizing people to the procedure of tax payment. “We previously deposited the rental tax on the Bujumbura City Council account, but it is not the case today, we need more explanations”, he says.

The senior advisor to the Mayor of Bujumbura city says the rental tax will be collected by OBR which was not the case before. “With the rental tax to be collected by OBR in the State Budget of 31 December 2016, 60% will be allocated to communal treasury while 40% will be allotted to public one”, he says. He also says the taxpayers who were used to paying through bank accounts are now allowed to pay via Lumicash (a means by which money can be sent or paid among phone users of Lumitel telephone company ) to facilitate the payment.

Léonard Sentore, OBR Commissioner General, says different activities have been undertaken to facilitate taxpayers. He says it is the eighth time that the sensitization campaign is conducted in the country. “Taxpayers have demanded that OBR should decentralize its services and reduce taxes. We opened two offices in the country and plan to open more others and expand the collection of taxes”, he says.

Térence Ntahiraja, Assistant to and Spokesperson for the Home Affairs Ministry, says OBR will achieve its objectives when all taxpayers pay their duties.

OBR has collected BIF 637, 45 billion compared to the expected BIF 596, 25 billion in 2016. It plans to collect BIF 720 billion in 2017 and contribute at 70% to the state budget in 2017 estimated at BIF 1,326 billion.

Since its creation in 2010, it already registered over 9200 small-taxpayers, 1028 middle-taxpayers and 422 large-taxpayers.

Désiré Musharitse, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance said that, based on the economic growth and average annual inflation projected to 2.9% and 7.5% respectively, OBR revenues are expected to grow by 10% without considering the new taxes included in the 2017 state budget.

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