Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR) eager to fight bribery

"Fighting corruption is oxygen for OBR. Corruption benefits only the few whereas taxation benefits the many. The fact that OBR is on track to collect BIF 560 billion this year and provide 78% of domestic expenditure in 2013, up from 63% in 2009 shows that OBR has been instrumental in turning corruption payments into tax payments, which help to grow the economy and provide a better standard of living for all,” declares Kieran Holmes, General Commissioner of Burundi Revenue Authority. General Commissioner indicates that the only way to build revenue authority is to operate in an environment of zero corruption. "We are going to organize meetings all over the country, plan leaflets, booklets, TV shows in order to promote communication which is a key strategy to stand against corruption in the country,” points out Kieran. Therefore, he continues, OBR will continue to encourage people to comply with the law and those who will miss to pay taxes will have penalties accordingly. Concerning the exoneration, General Commissioner mentions that it is a big challenge that should change overnight. "Each country in the world needs to attract more investment but we, in OBR, believe that giving the exoneration is not the good way to do that. We think that it is better if the government doesn’t give exoneration because tax revenue is used to improve the climate in Burundi, road infrastructures, internet infrastructures,…” enumerates Kieran. General Commissioner indicates that OBR faces some challenges which hinder some achievements. The big challenge is just how to convince people about the need and importance of paying taxes. There are some institutions which try to help them motivate people to pay their taxes as OBR is the only instrument for collecting taxes for the State. The second one deals with computer systems. "We have good computer systems like ASYCUDA World but we don’t have good computer domestic systems. We continue convincing our donors to support us with good services,” he points out. "We take this opportunity to remind everyone that we will shortly have a dedicated Call Centre operational at OBR along with a Hotline and we will be glad to work closely with all concerned citizens in the fight against corruption,” he concludes.

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