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URA registers UGX300b surplus in 2018/19 financial year

Mr. Silajji B Kanyesigye, AC Large Taxpayers Office at URA. He says Uganda must change  the tax paying culture by taking tax payment as a first priority. (PHOTO/PML Daily)

KAMPALA – Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has registered a revenue surplus of UGX300b above its UGX16.3 trillion target for the 2018/19 financial year.

Mr Siraji Kanyesigye the URA assistant commissioner in charges of large tax payers said the tax collection figures were above targets by more than UGX300b.

This was during a day-two services excellence exhibition organized by URA at Kololo during the 2019 National Budget Month.

“As we speak, we are having a surplus of well over UGX300b and this month’s (of June) projection is looking really good,” he said.

The assistant commissioner added that the Authority is working towards meeting its set targets. “We are hoping to even surpass it,” he added.

Ms Doris Akol, the commissioner general, last month highlighted that although they had not collected about 10 per cent (UGX1.6 trillion) of the required revenue they were on track and different measures had been put in place to ensure that targets are hit.

URA opened the first quarter of the financial year with a surplus of UGX349.3b, which meant that it had cut its collection target to about UGX7.2 trillion.

The Authority confirmed hitting its target for the first three quarters of the financial year 2018/19 with UGX 12,557.76trillion collected as of 31st March 2019 against the target of UGX 11.872.82trillion

Uganda Revenue Authority   is responsible for enforcing, assessing, collecting, and accounting for the various taxes imposed in Uganda.

Approximately 48.7 per cent of the national budget for the 2018/2019 financial is funded by revenue collected domestically.

Government is seeking to raise Uganda’s tax to GDP ratio to about or above 16 per cent in the 2019/20 financial year.

President Museveni, during the State of nation address on June 6, said the size of the economy is UGX 109.738 trillion in FY 2018/19 having the income per person at US$800.

President Museveni admitted that many officials in his government are corrupt. (PHOTO/File)

The President added that Domestic revenue in FY2017/18 amounted to UGX15.5 Trillion which is about 15% of GDP.

“Next financial year 2019/20, we plan to collect UGX 19.6.Trillion, equivalent to 16.1% of GDP,” he added.

Museveni added that the Government is implementing a plan to boost the domestic revenue collection to about 18% of GDP.

“This will narrow the gap between what we spend and what we collect in domestic revenue and in the process reduce the need for Government to borrow from the domestic market and also externally,” he added.

URA will be expected to mobilize UGX18.3 trillion domestically to fund the budget in the 2019/20 financial year.

Mr Moses Kaggwa, the Finance ministry director economic affairs said the revenue surplus will bring an increase to the tax to GDP ratio from the current 14.3 per cent to 15 per cent before the close of the year.

Siragi Magara Luyima,a budget policy specialist at Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, warned yesterday that domestic tax contribution has been going down, dropping from 75 to 74 per cent in the 2018/19 financial year.

The presence of the scanner at Busia border Post has helped URA collect at-least 1.8 billion in taxes for concealed items. (PHOTO/PML Daily)

This, he said, explains the rising debt levels, which currently stand at UGX42 trillion.

Uganda’s debt levels, according to International Monetary Fund, are expected to rise to about 50.7 per cent by the 2021/22 financial year, which could present risks of slowed growth to the economy.
To mitigate rising debt levels, IMF has previously said, Uganda must grow its domestic revenue levels to about or 16 per cent GDP to tax ratio.

The 2019/20 budget has risen from UGX32 trillion to UGX42 trillion of this UGX18.3 trillion is expected to be collected by URA.

The budget, just like the 2018/19 financial year, has been dominated by expenditure on debt servicing, security and infrastructure, among others.

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