In the past decade, Burundi says it has managed to expand its tax base from U$ 174,787,242.789 in 2010 to a staggering U$526,418,048.869 by 2019.
According to Audace Niyonzima the Commissioner General of Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR), the country had a tax base worth FBu 340 billion in 2010 and has since expanded to FBu 1024 billion in 2019- this is equivalent to 201.18% increase.
These revelations were made on Thursday during ceremonies marking the day dedicated to taxpayers 5th edition organized by the revenue collection body OBR.
At national level, the event was held at Kugasaka stadium in the capital of the province of Ngozi. Taxpayers had the opportunity to showcase the innovations made in different sectors of production.
Niyonzima said the OBR is making efforts to facilitate taxpayers’ access to its services through their decentralization by building provincial offices as well as the popularization of the tax law.
Regarding fraud, Niyonzima said that OBR was able to recover more than FBu 4 billion of the 17 closed cases, all thanks to the collaboration of all stakeholders including the police, intelligence and the population.
Meanwhile, the OBR also intends to computerize its services in charge of internal taxes to facilitate collection and thus avoid embezzlement of the latter.
Audace Ndayizeye the President of the Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Burundi (CFCIB) said that the traders of the 10 provinces already have provincial offices which facilitates the task of the OBR and allows a good collaboration between traders and the OBR.
However, there are concerns that traders are not well registered and this leads to gross fraud and tax defaults.
Ndayizeye asked the government of Burundi to conduct a census of traders as was done for officials to facilitate the task of the OBR, to collect taxes. And to demand the fight against false accountants who deceive traders by making false statements.
President Evariste Ndayishimiye called upon Burundian traders to group together and undertake major projects in order to increase production and be able to export the surplus to earn foreign currency.
He also said his government will set up teams that will travel across the country to track down those involved in fraud and economic embezzlement. He warned the governors, provincial commissioners and information officers that once fraudsters caught in their areas of jurisdiction without intervening to arrest them, will all be sacked.