The Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) has taken a step to curb tax evasion and avoidance by inaugurating an information exchange office dedicated to enhancing collaboration with tax authorities in other nations. This initiative seeks to fortify efforts against illicit financial flows while promoting transparency in taxation.
RRA officials anticipate that the newly established office will augment the institution’s capabilities in exchanging tax-related information, reinforcing Rwanda’s commitment to fostering transparency and responsible financial practices.
Richard Tusabe, the Minister of State in charge of the National Treasury, emphasized the pivotal role of this office in combating illicit financial flows.
“We firmly believe that concerted efforts are essential to effectively combat tax evasion and avoidance on a global scale. This office will undoubtedly be a cornerstone in addressing these concerns and bolstering domestic resource mobilization, a fundamental pillar of sustainable development.”
This facility, established in partnership with the United Kingdom (UK), represents the latest in a series of collaborative initiatives between the UK and Rwanda aimed at strengthening their cooperation in tax matters.
Rwanda has committed to adhering to both the Exchange of Information upon Request (EOIR) and the Automated Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts (AEOI) standards under this partnership. Tusabe affirmed Rwanda’s dedication to adopting international AEOI standards by 2024 as part of their unwavering commitment to promoting tax transparency.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Andrew Mitchell, the UK’s Minister of State for Development and Africa, reiterated the UK’s support for Rwanda’s efforts to develop a robust and sustainable economy. He emphasized the importance of sharing information between tax authorities as a crucial tool in their arsenal.
“Rwanda is set to become one of the first low-income countries to meet international standards for the exchange of information, and the UK is proud to be part of that journey.” Mitchell said.
In 2015, the UK’s tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), commenced providing capacity building support to the RRA. Additionally, the UK Department for International Development, now known as the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), collaborated with the RRA to introduce the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (eCTs), a system that has significantly reduced transit times and enhanced cargo safety.