KAMPALA – The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has unveiled a raft of measures that are intended to create a tax paying culture as the country continues to suffer low revenues amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi Rujoki said the new strategies are in line with National Development Plan (NDP) III, the Uganda Vision 2040, and the Domestic Resource Mobilisation Strategy.
“These are unprecedented times; the Corona pandemic has rapidly changed the way we operate, and we must adapt accordingly. We can no longer rely only on international trade and foreign assistance; we need to look within us as a country for sustenance,” Mr Musinguzi said on the second day of the Post Budget Speech E-Conference 2020 hosted by URA on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.
Mr Musinguzi said the strategies are tax education, improving data management, improving quality of service and implementing small and medium business compliance strategy, optimise use of technology, enhanced research, trade facilitation, enhance strategic partnerships and long term – seamless automated tax payment and assessment.
“The July 2019 –May 2020 collections amounted to 74.59% of the annual revenue target of FY 2019/2020. Impacting both formal and informal economy. Feedback from clients through the most recent client satisfaction survey shows taxpayer education gaps. Little or no communication on taxpayer rights and obligations while tax education takes place at URA premises only.Small tax base with only 1,594,104 taxpayers on register, of which only 953,050 (78%) are active.,” he added.
In the medium term, Mr Musinguzi said URA shall implement a tax education strategy as the first step in the tax compliance administration pyramid with use of mobile tax offices as well as tax compliance centres.
He said they will improve data management by enhancing data stewardship, data acquisition and integration mechanisms, improving data usage, integration, increasing compliance to data standards and controls, improving data completeness and accuracy and increasing data governance, awareness and maturity.
To improve quality of service In order to improve compliance and ultimately increase revenue yield, Mr Musinguzi said they will implement aURA modernised contact centre that will implement effective client relationship & feedback management mechanisms implement taxpayer appreciation interventions, review and implement service delivery standards. improve service delivery by deploying simple, nimbler & user friendly services & tools.
He said they plan to address staff integrity and skills through digitalization of revenue administration to reduce human interface (automated TCC, WHT exemption application, and warehousing regime). Addressing Integrity of Staff, through improved organizational structure aligned with digital age. They also plan to expand organizational integrity and improve human resources management practices in order to effectively manage personnel and incentivize performance. He said they will set up a URA Tax Academy to professionalize staff intended to mainly be address through online tools and methodologies