They exist. In Rwanda. The Electronic Billing Machines....

They exist. In Rwanda. The Electronic Billing Machines….

It may look sinister. But the Electronic Billing Machines (EBM’s) are the latest ICT innovation that will help the Rwanda Revenue Autohority to improve its efficiency when it comes to VAT collecting and to combat VAT fraud.

Rwanda has just a mere 7000 registered VAT tax payers. Yet many of them use all sorts of tricks to evade remitting the 18% on the sale of every VAT-charged commodity, such as:

  • not issuing receipts to customers,
  • hide sales records,
  • keep two sets of books of accounts,
  • make false entries in books and records or
  • claim false deductions.

All these tricks not only increase the cost of tax collection, but eventually results in revenue loss. That is why the Rwanda Government decided to revise the VAT law, the latest version of which was passed early 2012.  And article 24 of the VAT law now states that ‘Value added tax registered persons are obliged to use a certified electronic billing machine that generates invoices indicating the tax as agreed by the tax administration.’

About the Electronic Billing Machines

The devices are installed at with the help of RRA-recognized experts after registering it with the tax authority to capture the taxpayer’s special identification Number (TIN). Every sales transaction should then be registered in the machine, which generates a receipt with an electronic signature to avoid falsification.

The data filled in the EBM is recorded in an encrypted manner on a memory card and sent to RRA’s database. If there’s no internet connection, RRA officials can collect the memory card at the point of sale to retrieve the data.


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