As we come to the end of a particularly challenging 2020, I would like to thank you all for the efforts you have made towards developing our country by honoring your tax obligations. We have collectively contributed a net revenue collection of UGX 8 Trillion to the national treasury so far this financial year.
We have just concluded the Taxpayers’ Appreciation Season, during which we carried out several activities to engage, rally, recognize and reward compliance. We thank you for actively participating in the various activities and we also value the feedback that you’ve shared with us, especially the need for more engagements in taxpayer education to equip you with more knowledge about your rights and obligations.
We have listened, and going forward we commit to deepen our interaction with you to demystify the tax regime and make it easily understood by everyone.
At URA we believe that reviving our business climate and economy is a collective effort that involves all of us as citizens. For Uganda to attain self-sufficiency, we need to double our Tax to GDP ratio from the current 13% to 26%, a feat that can only be attained when we all join our efforts.
On our part, we have devised many initiatives to support you to stay afloat during this Covid-19 pandemic period and to also make it easier for you to meet your tax obligations.
These initiatives include increased stakeholder engagements with various key players to lean on each other’ strength in attaining our nation’s economic sufficiency.
We have also embraced the use of technology and data analytics to improve our service delivery and to identify qualifying citizens and economic players to make their fair contribution to the revenue kit. The new technological advancements we have deployed include the use of Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) at our borders to facilitate trade and also curb smuggling, automation of most of our services, implementation of Digital Tracking Solution and recently the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) whose enforcement starts at the beginning of next year.
The DTS and ERIS are tailored, among other many benefits, to improve record keeping for businesses and the collection of Local Excise Duty and VAT respectively. I encourage you dear taxpayers to embrace these technologies and all our existing online services.
We are also opting for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to amicably settle tax disputes and reduce on litigation costs for both parties. I also encourage taxpayers to embrace the ongoing voluntary disclosure avenue by performing thorough tax self-health checks to clean your tax accounts with us without being fined.
We have equally re-committed ourselves to be more efficient and transparent in what we do by promoting accountability amongst our staff guided by the values of Patriotism, Integrity, and Professionalism.
We are fully committed to supporting you our taxpayers. I encourage you all to always approach us in case you need any form of assistance. Lastly, I wish to remind all of us to be mindful of the potential spread of Covid-19 during the festive season. Guard yourself and your loved ones at all times by upholding the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which have proven to be a powerful weapon against the pandemic.
I wish you all a happy festive season and may the peace and joy of Christmas be with you and your families. I also wish you a blessed 2021
For God and my Country
John R. Musinguzi
Uganda Revenue Authority