KAMPALA- The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has on Monday, July 15 broken down the URA annual revenue performance in a press brief for the just concluded financial year 2018/19 under the theme ‘Transparency and Accountability for Effective Service Delivery’ at the URA main boardroom.
According to URA, the press brief is expected to bring to the taxpayers’ attention the factors that explained last years’ good revenue collection performance, the administrative and policy interventions executed during the year.
It should be noted that during the fiscal year 2018/19 was given a net revenue target of UGX 16.36trillion.
The URA Commissioner General, Doris Akol revealed that the net revenue collections for FY 2018/19 were UGX 16.62trillion, registering a growth rate of 14.95% (UGX 2.16trillion) compared to last financial year which was UGX 258.89 billion above the target, posting a performance level of 101.58%.
“The average net revenue collections growth over the five year period was at 15.72%. The tax to GDP ratio has increased from 12.84 % in FY 2014/15 to 15.11 % in FY 2018/19 above the NDP.2 target of 14.90% for FY 2018/19,” she said.
She added that tax to GDP ratio increased from 12.8% in 2014/15 to 15.1% in 2018/19 whereas, over the five year period, the tax to GDP ratio increased by 2.27 percentage points and specifically, the tax to GDP ratio in FY 2018/19 has grown by 0.78% higher than the IMF target of 0.5%.
The Commissioner General revealed that net revenue has consistently changed from FY 2014/15 to FY 2018/19 at an average rate of 15.72% over the five year period.
“Tax policy measures introduced under the Local Excise Duty namely, the daily OTT levy and levy on mobile money transactions contributed to net estimated revenue amounting to UGX 779.5 billion from a total of UGX 1.095trillion registering a performance of 140.50%,” said Ms. Akol.
According to URA, the major import items that registered an increase in tax yield during the FY 2018/19 compared to last year include; worn clothing (UGX 42.25 billion), cigarettes (UGX 29.27 billion), motor vehicles (UGX 28.36 billion), Footwear (UGX 27.00 billion) among others.
Ms. Akol said that the public sector performed at 127.96% of the target which boosted the overall PAYE tax head performance which was really healthy in FY 2018/19.
“The major tax heads that recorded gross surpluses during the year were majorly direct taxes that include; Corporation tax; that registered a surplus of UGX 331.37 billion and PAYE; that registered a surplus of UGX 148.60 billion,” she said.
Domestic taxes net collections during the FY 2018/19 were UGX 9,749.29 billion, registering a performance of 102.80% and UGX 265.59 billion above the target.
URA has also revealed that import volumes increased whereby Uganda’s dry cargo import volumes in shs grew by 28.54% during the FY 2018/19 compared to 16.30% last FY 2017/18 which led to the growth in goods that attract VAT on imports by 8.17%%, goods that attract import duty by 1.62%.
“Increase in imports volumes explains the surplus registered in VAT on imports by UGX 69.25 billion, import duty by 9.57 billion and international trade tax collections by UGX 8.91billion,” said Ms. Akol.
Major sectors that registered growth in private sector credit during the year were; mining and quarrying (44.37%), electricity and water (20.78%), manufacturing (15.25%), trade (13.03%) and business services (13.17%) among others.
During the FY 2018/19, the demand for private sector credit increased to 12% from 6.8% in FY 2017/18 which increased the level of economic activities as reflected in their GDP growth rates and hence increase in revenue collected and leading to the surplus according to Ms. Akol.
The net international trade tax collections during the FY 2018/19 were UGX 6,875.41 billion registering a performance of 100% and UGX 0.34 billion above the target.
Ms. Akol said that FY 2018/19 was particularly the 3rd year of the implementation of the URA Corporate Plan 2016/17-2019/20 which is premised on 3 major pillars of cultivating a taxpaying culture through the provision of reliable services, leadership development and building strategic partnerships.
“In order to expand the tax base, URA together with local governments, Kampala Capital City Authority and Uganda Registration Services Bureau implemented the Taxpayer Registration Expansion Project to penetrate the informal sector that accounts for 48% of the economy,” she said.
The initiatives included; financial literacy programs, taxpayer appreciation week, my tax works campaign, open minds forum, business community engagements, produced 3 videos on (record keeping, presumptive and TIN registration), client visits among others.
The Commissioner-General said, “URA implemented the Block Management System in greater Kampala which helped to map out taxpayers in Blocks and the unregistered taxpayer is brought onto the tax register.”
She added that over 174 tax clinics were conducted, 20 exhibitions were held, online/social media platform initiatives, editions of tax literature and media publications, tax rebates, tax ‘katales’.
URA said that over 42 tax societies in universities and schools were held and regional budget breakfast all over the country among others.
“Because of the above initiatives, Ugandans have voluntarily registered for taxes and a total of 166,663 new taxpayers have been added onto the URA tax register,”Ms. Akol remarked.
Ms. Akol has applauded Ugandans for paying taxes saying, “We specifically appreciate all taxpayers and partners that have supported us on this journey and we managed to collect more revenue for government last year.”