Once your business is officially registered with RDB your tax obligations begin.’
The tax collection system in Rwanda is arguably one of the most tax-efficient in the East African region. Taxation here, compared to
neighbouring countries, isn’t necessarily much higher but it is usually more rigorously enforced with more regular checks and higher
penalties in cases of infringement.
(Case Study → BDO Africa).
That being said, Rwanda still has a very large informal sector which sometimes can make it difficult to deal with if you are looking to be a tax-compliant company. (Case Study → Hollandia Fair Foods) This is one of the reasons for the Withholding tax (Case Study → Rwandan Adventures).
Taxpayer registration & Various Taxes
TRAIDE has created a very well-formatted document which is a great entry point if you’re looking to get an overview of the taxation system in Rwanda.
(Download: TRAIDE: Paying Taxes in Rwanda Feb 2020.pdf)
It covers topics such as:
If you’re looking for a slightly more detailed overview the PWC – Tax briefings are a great resource too. Here you will find a more detailed, yet approachable, breakdown of various taxes.
The RRA Tax Handbook is the official RRA communication regarding taxes, procedures and penalties.
Finally for the highest amount of detail possible you can find the actual Laws, Policies and Rulings on the RRA Website.
Capital Gains Tax
Please see Investing in Rwanda > Capital Gains Tax
If you wish to stop being under the legal obligation to file your taxes for example because you have stopped operating your business then you can de-register from tax. All information regarding de-registration can be found on RRA’s relevant webpage.
For more details about the procedure to get tax clearance to see Company Registration > Closing a Business.
Electronic Billing Machine (EBM)
Since 2013 the Rwandan Government has made it compulsory for all VAT-registered businesses (i.e. turnover over 20million RWF; approx. 17,100 EUR) to acquire and use EBM to issue tax invoices to their customers on every transaction they make. Failure to comply is a tax crime that attracts penalties. (EBM – General Description)
EBM machines can also be used on a voluntary basis (i.e. by companies under the 20million RWF income threshold)
The Government, in an attempt to boost investments in certain sectors, offers a series of tax incentives to qualifying entrepreneurs/investors. Please see the relevant section for more details: Investing in Rwanda > Sector-specific incentives
To find information on requirements, procedures and costs of the various Export
Licenses visit The Rwanda Trade Portal – Export page
For companies with a low volume of transactions (e.g. consultancies) filing your taxes on your own is doable so long as you are ready to navigate the RRA system and the tax laws relevant to you and your business.
For companies with a high volume of transactions, however, a certified accountant can be of great support. (Case Study → Rwandan Adventures)
Finding the right accountant in Rwanda can be tricky. 80% of our Members have reported not being satisfied with the accounting services they’ve received, with many of them having had to switch multiple times before finding the right one. Members of EBCR can recommend accountancy firms of Certified Public Accountants which they have received good service from. (Case Study → Viebeg Medical)
If you do find an accountant make sure to double-check that they are registered with the
Institute of Public Accountants of Rwanda (ICPAR)