If you own a property and you don’t have the time to manage how these properties are taxed, then there is a likelihood that you could find yourself in tax penalties.
Arguably, the risks for tax penalties are higher for those in the diaspora, for example. Such cases are no exception in Rwanda, where members of the diaspora community find themselves in tax penalties they have no knowledge about because they are miles away to understand the policies that affect their properties.
Iwacu Diaspora (IDN), a local company aspires to bring Rwandans closer to their properties in distance.
Daniella Rusamaza, the founder of the Iwacu Diaspora is a solution for the problem at hand.
She follows up properties of Rwandans living abroad, manages their properties, and makes sure that they have no tax illegalities.
Prior to launching the company, Rusamaza worked as a bank attendant, where she attended clients from diaspora whose properties were depreciating because they had no agent to look after them.
According to Rusamaza, Iwacu Diaspora company ltd is a brainchild of a dire need to bring nearer the diaspora people to their properties.
“The idea of starting this company came when I was still a bank attendant where I worked for six years dealing with Rwandans in Diaspora who sought different services such as loans. Most of these people I met, however, highlighted the challenge of managing the properties they left home including houses, land, and other personal services. And I was inspired to start a company,” she says.
During her tenure as a bank attendant, Rusamaza learnt that the majority of Rwandans who lived abroad were hampered by the inability to manage their properties back home particularly those with rental houses, and at times, she could hear them lamenting for not being paid on time.
Furthermore, she discovered a number of Rwandans were incurring losses as a result of tax penalties and these discouraged their will of re-investments at home as a result.
“Through these challenges, I was inspired to start my company that would provide a solution to the problem at hand.”
As a way of achieving the company’s target, for instance, Iwacu Company Diaspora Network is currently helping taxpayers in the diaspora to pay property taxes before they are caught with Rwanda Revenue Authority deadline scheduled to end on 31 this month.
In addition, Rusamaza warns that delaying to declare taxes attracts unnecessary fines which the taxpayers can avoid before time.
“We are now helping diaspora people who want to declare their property tax in Rwanda. We strongly urge people to register before time set because penalties come with losing ownership rights of land and fines.”
“There are a number of people living abroad who have no information on paying taxes, some do not have their local agents to help them to re-register outdated land titles. So we are here as a bridge to help them sort all their tax payment by just accessing their UPI numbers.”
“Rwandans living abroad and those in the country should avoid late tax declaration on deadline because it can attract fines and remittances and the fines are always a burden,” she advises.