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The Commissioner General of the OBR is Meeting Taxpayers PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 14:05

Dr. Domitien Ndihokubwayo is meeting taxpayers, sector by sector since the end of June 2015. The objective is to understand the specific problems of each other in order to have the same understanding and consider all possible solutions.


The General Commissioner with the representatives of the Hotels and Tourism Sector

Tuesday, June 30, at the headquarters of the OBR, meeting with the Hotels and Tourism Sector. Businessmen operating in the sector welcomed the initiative of Commissioner General to meet them. Then they show him the difficulties they are facing these days. According to a hotel owner, “the political and security crisis which Burundi has been living for two months has had a very negative impact on the hotels and tourism sector. Tourists have canceled reservations, and it will be very difficult to get them back”. The other participants emphasized among other problems insolvency of taxpayers in the current context, the issue of the VAT applied by the tax administration even before the invoices are paid, pushing taxpayers to contract bank debts to pay this tax, reimbursement of that tax in the context of the supply on the informal market especially for food. They also denounced the unfair competition of the so-called passage houses which still work illegally. They also seek the support of the OBR in promoting tourism, a sector they refer to as a major provider of employment and revenues with some 53 sub-sectors it contains.

Thursday, July 2, the turn for the chamber of traders. Same observation, business ticking over following the crisis. And the Secretary General of the ACOBU (Traders Association of Burundi) to alert the Commissioner General, "If the OBR complains of falling revenues, the trader is dead". He asks the OBR to be lenient when it comes to pay almonds. Other participants raised the need for training Burundian businessmen as most of them are illiterate, to revise downwards tax rates, the establishment of an updated file of goods’ customs value, translation and availing laws in Kirundi and the issue of provisional payment.

To both sectors, the General Commissioner expressed a feeling of satisfaction for the straight talk used and consistency of the wish expressed. "You teach me many things. This kind of meeting is constructive", he said. Then he reacted to each of the points raised by participants explaining how the OBR works in compliance with the law and he said he understand their concerns. He is also optimistic that things will get sorted. The Commissioner General took the opportunity to invite honest taxpayers to report the fraudsters and he promised that the OBR will spare no effort to improve the services that it is competent to provide to taxpayers; and that he will forward the wishes expressed to the competent authority which is the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Planning. The Commissioner General of the OBR promised the meetings of the kind will continue with other sectors.