News FlashesJuly 23, 2019

CRS News Flash 12 July 2019 – RWANDA & UGANDA – 2019-2020 Budget Speeches

Rwanda Budget Speech for 2019/2020
The 2019/2020 Budget speech was delivered on 13 June 2019 by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana.

The theme for the 2019/20 budget is “Transforming lives through Industrialisation and Job Creation for Shared Prosperity”.


  • Rwanda’s budget will increase by 11% in the next year, while the government projects slower growth. About 86% of the total budget will come from internal sources.
  • Government has proposed to increase the national budget from 2.5 to 2.8 trillion Rwf for the fiscal year 2019/20.
  • Rwanda’s GDP grew by 8.6%, compared to the initial projection of 7.2%.
  • The global economy registered a decline in economic growth from 3.8% in 2017 to 3.6% in 2018.
  • The Rwandan economy is projected to grow by 7.8% in 2019, by 8.1% in 2020, and by 8.2% in 2021.
  • Inflation was maintained below the 5% medium-term inflation benchmark. The average headline inflation was at 1.4% in 2018, from 4.8% recorded in 2017.

Key tax measures

  • Revision of the law on tax procedures, stating that every person carrying out commercial activities would have to use the new Electronic Billing Machine (EBM) for all, expanding the coverage to non-VAT registered persons and improving tax compliance.
  • The Rwanda government has also proposed changes to the tax penalties regime to cap penalties arising from audits and investigations to a maximum of 20% on any understatement exceeding 10% of the declared tax. Previously the penalties were progressive, rising to 50%.
  • An additional proposal has been introduced to reduce the 60% late filing and 50% late payment penalties. The proposed penalties will be computed based on the default period.
  • Rwanda has signed double tax agreements with Turkey and the UAE.
  • No changes to personal income tax rates were proposed.


Uganda Budget Speech for 2019/2020

The 2019/2020 Budget speech was delivered on 13 June 2019 by Hon. Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The theme for the 2019/20 budget is “Industrialisation for Job Creation and Shared Prosperity”.

The budget prioritised the following four strategic areas:

  • Enhancing key primary growth sectors
  • Increasing infrastructure access and reliability
  • Human capital development
  • Maintaining peace, security and improving governance


  • GDP grew from 5.7% to 6.1% in 2018/19.
  • The budget deficit as a ratio of GDP for the new financial year is projected at 8.7%, compared to 5.8% this year.
  • Government debt rose to Shs. 42,760 Billion (equivalent to US$ 11.5 Billion) as at end December 2018.
  • The average Inflation was 3.4%, within the policy target of 5% per annum.

Key fiscal measures

  • To strengthen tax administration and restore public confidence in the tax system, the following interventions will be implemented over the next five fiscal years:
    • Review tax policies for greater simplicity, efficiency and sustainable revenues.
    • Involve taxpayers more fully in the tax policy formulation process.
    • Promote an attractive business environment to potential investors, including the provision of a business-friendly tax environment, and eliminating distortions to private sector investment decisions.
    • Support investment in human capital by granting incentives to businesses which provide apprenticeship in priority sectors, accredited training and education based at the workplace.
    • Eliminate revenue leakages and enforce tax obligations by re-examining rules and restricting tax exemptions.
    • Enhance Uganda Revenue Authority’s administrative efficiency through additional staff recruitment, better training, and modernisation and expansion of ICT capacity.
    • Enhance compliance through registration, improved taxpayer services and education.
    • Develop a simplified tax regime for small and medium enterprises, including informal sector businesses to encourage tax compliance.
    • Strengthen the revenue-raising capacity of local governments by broadening the range of revenue instruments available to them.
  • The reward payable to a person who provides information leading to the recovery of a tax or duty has been reduced from 10% to 5% of the principal tax recovered.

No changes to personal income tax rates were proposed.

Contact our legislation team at if you require any additional information.
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