BUJUMBURA August 12th (ABP) – The Burundi Revenue Office (OBR) organized on Tuesday August 10, in the headquarters of Isare commune, Bujumbura province (western Burundi), an awareness-raising workshop for representatives of taxpaying traders of that province to discuss the new laws in force at the OBR in relation to the payment of taxes, the tax declaration, the use of the new OBR invoice, the fight against fraud and smuggling, as well as the penalties and fines to which traders are exposed in the event of breaches of tax compliance, a check on the site by ABP has revealed.
In his opening remarks, the communications director and spokesperson of the OBR, Mr. Stany Ngendakumana, indicated that the purpose of that workshop is to inform traders of the new tax laws so that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, they are not saying that they were not aware of those ones. That awareness campaign, which began some time ago, will extend to all provinces of the country, he said, noting that tax evasion and tax evasion are a reality in Burundi. Some traders do not pay tax fees, others engage in fraud and smuggling. It follows the fiscal haemorrhage which prevents the State from carrying out its projects. He added that tax evasion has consequences for the country and the taxpayers.
When fraud and smuggling take hold, the quality of incoming products is not controlled. That can have consequences on the life of humans and plants, he said, giving the example of drugs and phytosanitary products. He called on all citizens to be vigilant in the face of defrauded products.
According to Mr. Régis Nimbeshaho, one of the OBR agents, taxpayers must obey fiscal citizenship by voluntarily fulfilling tax obligations by being registered (tax registration), by properly keeping the required documents (the NIF, the trade register and the OBR invoice), by declaring and paying, within the prescribed time limits, the taxes and duties owed.
The communications director and spokesperson for the OBR also reported that in the event of smuggling, seized goods are auctioned off, while those that are banned are destroyed. He said that in addition to customs staff, there are the police, magistrates and others who help in the fight against fraud and smuggling.
However, he regretted that the whistleblowers were not numerous. He reminded traders, however, that those who still believe that there are tricks that scammers use to evade OBR vigilance are wrong because, he added, all lanes are closed. He recommended that traders work with the OBR in order to conduct their business legally. In addition, he said, the OBR intends to promote a business based on figures, honest business and based on a legal, calculable and verifiable basis.