KAMPALA — The Ministry of Finance has signed off a deal to collect rental tax, handing the reigns to American firm Ripplenami Inc which had been until now resisted at the Uganda Revenue Authority.
President Museveni in 2018, recommended that the URA works with Ripplenami inc led by Jaye Connoly-Labelle the Chairman and CEO but URA later decided that the tax body can do the job on her own.
Apparently, the American firm will be entitled to 30 percent of all tax collected under the arrangement, an matter that drew discomfort within the former leadership of the URA, replaced by the president in April, and with the new team embarking on a major purge.
But on June 5, the Ministry of Finance announced in a press release that they has contracted Ripplenami Inc to provide a solution to “massive tax evasion and concealment of rental taxes”.
The Ministry said:
“The solution (system) will integrate data from various Ministries, Departments and
Agencies (MDA’s) to enable proper identification of individuals and Corporations to determine rental income prior to standard deductions”.
Betty Kasimbazi the Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Finance signed on behalf of government while Faruk Awadh, Director for Operations Africa signed on behalf of RippleNami Inc.
Witnessing the signing ceremony Finance Minister Matia Kasaija asked URA to collaborate with Ripplenami Inc who is set to start the job on July 1, 2020.
In a November 25, 2018 letter President Museveni complained that he had recommended the company only for its officials to be tossed around.
The President writing angrily to Finance Minister Kasaijja said:
“I’m therefore, now directing all the obstructors that the necessary agreements in the matter must be signed by 18:00hours, Tuesday, the 27th of November, 2018. Failure to implement this on the dot will attract decisive actions from me”.
With the new changes at URA the president has his wishes answered.
Mr. John Musinguzi Rujoki the URA Commissioner General said tax body he heads will work closely
with other agencies including Ministry of Lands, NIRA, KCCA, URSB and utility companies to provide the necessary data which will be integrated with the RippleNami Inc technology.
It’s not clear why the firm should earn 30 percent of tax revenues collected from a job that can be done by the tax body.