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Burundi: New Procedural Code for Administration of Taxation

(Sept. 30, 2013) The Parliament of Burundi adopted a new Tax Procedure Code on September 6, 2013. (Jean Harahagazwe & Anapaula Trindade Marinho, Burundi: Tax Procedure Code enacted by Parliament (Sept. 26, 2013), International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation online subscription database; for a general guide to taxation in Burundi (with rates as of Nov. 2012), see Burundi, DELOITTE (last visited Sept. 26, 2013).)

According to Senator Fidès Sinankwa, the legislation was initiated as part of the effort to modernize Burundian tax law, by establishing procedures to ensure the effectiveness of the taxation work of the Burundi Revenue Authority (Office Burundais des Recettes, or OBR), protect the rights of the taxpayer, and strengthen mutual trust between taxpayers and the revenue authorities. In addition, she stated, taxation procedures were governed by a scattering of procedural rules in different legal texts, complicating their application. The legislation aims to correct these deficiencies by providing uniform procedures for each of the types of taxes managed by the OBR. (Senator Fidès Sinankwa, President,Standing Committee Responsible for Economic Affairs, Environment, Finance and Budget, Rapport sur le projet de loi relatif aux procédures fiscales [Report on the Draft Law on Tax Procedures], Burundi Senate website (last visited Sept. 26, 2013).)

The 12 chapters of the draft legislation included chapters on taxpayer registration requirements, tax audits, the procedures for rectifying a tax assessment, the tax litigation process, the rules of evidence, tax collection, and default interest and penalties. (Id.) The new Code applies to corporate and individual income tax, general withholding taxes, value-added tax, the tax on motor vehicles and boats, general consumption taxes, and property tax. (Harahagazwe & Marinho, supra.) Its provisions will prevail should they conflict with the existing special provisions on procedural law. (Id.)

In terms of the appeals available to taxpayers under the new Code, it will now be possible to file an appeal of a proposed tax levy to the General Commissioner of the OBR. During the appeal process, payment of the disputed tax is suspended. Appeals of disputes arising after the imposition of the tax are to be addressed to the Ministry of Finance. Finally, in disputes involving cases in which the imposition of the tax is upheld, taxpayers have the right to appeal to a special committee that operates under conditions and modalities determined by the Ministry of Finance. (Id.)