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President Kagame Announces Removal of Fees for Essential Local Services

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In a significant move aimed at easing financial burdens on citizens, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has issued a groundbreaking decree, Presidential Order n° 075/01 of 04/12/2023, abolishing fees for essential services provided by Local Authorities.

Published in the State Gazette on December 5, 2023, this decision covers a range of vital services, including the transfer of property rights, rural construction documents, and certificates confirming a person’s presence or death.

The tax exemption encompasses various services such as real estate transfers, land ownership certificates, land registration certificates, building repair and renovation certificates, construction certificates for fences, and building permits in rural villages. Additionally, certificates verifying an individual’s status (alive or deceased), licenses for burning coal, bricks and mortar, harvesting forests, and certificates of trust are now exempt from taxation.

This decree marks a departure from the previous requirement that imposed a flat fee of 20,000 Rwandan francs for any real estate-related activities, irrespective of property size. Moreover, the financial barriers to living in rural areas have been eased, with the elimination of the 5,000 Rwandan franc fee for building permits and site surveys, as per the 2012 Presidential Decree.

It is important to note that the tax exemption does not necessitate prior approval from authorities for the specified services and decisions. This initiative aligns with President Kagame’s commitment to enhancing accessibility to essential services and fostering economic growth by reducing financial obstacles for citizens across the country.

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