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Grateful URA boss Akol thanks taxpayers in special message

Ms. Doris Akol, the Uganda Revenue Authority boss urged taxpayers to continue playing their part diligently by complying with taxes on time and in the right amount. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) collected UGX16.6 trillion, much more than it had estimated in the just-concluded financial year.

Against a target of UGX16.4 trillion, the tax agency registered a surplus of 259 billion Shillings, the biggest amount in its entire history.

Compared to the 2017/18 financial year, these numbers show tax revenue grew by a whopping UGX 2.2 trillion, a growth of 15 per cent.

The numbers indicate a vote of confidence on the Ugandan economy but also a reward to URA’s aggressiveness to get more taxpayers on the register and ensure that they actually pay.

Government has indicated that the economy grew by 6.2 per cent in the previous financial year.

In the last financial year, URA was particularly aggressive, with the commissioner general herself reaching out to traders downtown to explain the need to pay their share of taxes.

This had a psychological impact on the evasive traders to see the head of the tax-collecting institution reaching out to them, which softened their hearts to pay their fair share of the tax dues.

URA Commissioner General Doris Akol in a letter addressed to taxpayers said this is a major achievement for Uganda.

“We appreciate the cooperation and productive networks we have built with our key strategic partners that have enabled us progressively widen our reach and impact,” she wrote.

Ms. Akol attributes the success to the enthusiasm with which taxpayer and tax education programs in the schools, universities, business communities and in all the regions have been attended.

“This motivates us to continue focusing energies and resources on providing information and support to not only improve compliance but also to grow and strengthen a taxpaying culture among existing and future taxpayers. We also applaud the banks and other tax payment channel providers that worked extra hours to enable our mutual clients comply within statutory deadlines.”

She urged taxpayers to continue playing their part diligently by complying with taxes on time and in the right amount.

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A letter to you the Taxpayer

Because of you

By Doris Akol

Dear Taxpayers,

We recently concluded financial year 2018/2019 and this note is to say thank you for your compliance and continued support in meeting your tax obligations. Over the past year, through your compliance and our combined efforts, we mobilized and collected UGX 16,958.11/= Billion and saw revenue grow by 15% in comparison to last financial year. This translates to an increase of UGX 2,298.35 billion shillings that has been added to the national treasury over the last year. I am confident that many will be proud of what the immense possibilities that our expanding revenue basket offer for our country’s continued upward growth trajectory.

At Uganda Revenue Authority, we are proud that we have lifted our country’s tax to GDP ratio progressively from 12.8% in 2014/15 to 15.1% in the just concluded financial year. We are firmly on course to realizing the NDPII target of 16% by financial year 2019/2020. We have also impacted both the continental and global tax agenda with our indelible mark of innovation and thought leadership in tax administration.

We appreciate the cooperation and productive networks we have built with our key strategic partners that have enabled us progressively widen our reach and impact. We appreciate the enthusiasm with which our taxpayer and tax education programs in the schools, universities, business communities and in all the regions have been attended. This motivates us to continue focusing energies and resources on providing information and support to not only improve compliance but also to grow and strengthen a taxpaying culture among existing and future taxpayers. We also applaud the banks and other tax payment channel providers that worked extra hours to enable our mutual clients comply within statutory deadlines.

In this financial year 2019/20, we will collectively mobilize and contribute UGX 20,344.13Billion to the national coffers. While the task ahead of us is monumental, it is not insurmountable because the economic fabric to generate this revenue exists. In addition to continually focusing on our current compliance improvement initiatives for individual income tax, rental income tax, local excise duty and VAT, our further focus will be in utilization of business intelligence, various system interfaces, forensic and science based interventions and third party information sources to identify eligible but hitherto non-compliant taxpayers. In a bid to support compliance but also improve on our service offering, going beyond revenue collection, we will also continue to offer tailor-made tax education resources, appropriate to various taxpayer segments, with specific emphasis on financial literacy and tax advisory. On the international trade front, our efforts will continue to be focused on deploying technological applications to secure our borders while facilitating trade at the lowest cost and minimal time.

The revenue mobilization effort and contribution to national treasury by those who are engaged in profitable economic activity is key in supporting Government’s expenditure programs and priorities. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to be compliant with our tax obligations for this to happen. I urge you to continue playing your part diligently by complying with your taxes on time and in the right amount. We thank you for your business and we are available on our various channels and platforms to both support and when necessary, enforce your compliance, as we continue to Develop Uganda Together!

Doris Akol
Commissioner General

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