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A Critical Analysis of Effectiveness of Tax Offences Control Mechanisms Under Rwandan Law

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par Charles KABERA
Kigali Independent University - LLB 2008

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ii. Statement of the problem

People talk about tax matters, complain about them and try to dodge them when they can2(*). Some always pay; some always cheat; and some cheat when they think they can get away with it3(*). Businesses also react to taxes, both in how they organize their activities and, perhaps, in where they carry them out. How people and businesses react in turn affects the level and structure of taxation4(*).

Tax offences give rise to several legal questions; Whether Penalties and fines are well executed when tax offences are committed, Whether the Rwandan tax law fully addresses the problem of tax offences, whether Rwandan courts are strong enough to prosecute tax offenders, whether a `prevention is better than cure' approach is applied by the tax administration to prevent tax offences before they are committed.

iii. Research questions

This research is intended to find the possible solutions for the following questions:

1. How effective are Rwanda legal instruments and administrative measures in addressing tax offences?

2. What improvements needed to control tax offences effectively?

iv. Research Hypothesis

v. Research Methodology

1. Documentation

This involved Analysis Secondary data which textbooks on taxation, Taxation Law, tax administration, Rwandan legal texts, Legal texts of other, Documentation from RRA, RRA website, Websites of other tax administrations, papers presented in national and international seminars, conferences and workshops and Electronic data related to taxation.

2. Interviews

In order to obtain data related to the objectives of this research, selected taxpayers were interviewed to know their perception towards taxation and what they expect to be done to improve their tax compliance levels.

3. Observation

This method was used in order to scrutinize things that cannot be easily sported out such as the activities and attitudes of tax administrators and taxpayers respectively. For example, using this method, the researcher observed the attitude of taxpayers towards tax administration and vice versa. The researcher mainly used observation method when he attended the Appeals Committee meetings to observe how tax appeals process is conducted and establish whether the taxpayers' rights and obligations are considered.

vi. Objectives of the study

a. General objective

Objective of the study is to analyse the current measures to control tax offences under Rwanda tax system and recommend measures that the Rwandan tax administration can use to minimise commitment of tax offences.

b. Specific objectives

The research study will highly focus on specific objectives particularly which will be to:

1. identify the concept of Taxation under Rwandan tax Law;

2. Investigate the causes and consequences of tax offences;

3. Identify legal and administrative measures used to address tax offences;

4. Identify existing loopholes in addressing tax offences;

5. Recommend measures to address the problem of tax offences in Rwanda.

* 2 An introduction to the Design and Development of Tax Policy in Developing and Transitional Countries, Richard M. Bird and Eric Zolt.

* 3 Administrative dimensions of Tax Reform, Richard M. Bird, April 2003

* 4 An introduction to the Design and Development of Tax Policy in Developing and Transitional Countries, Richard M. Bird and Eric Zolt.

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