URA introduces new mechanisms to collect more taxes

FORT PORTAL– In a bid to beat the target of collecting Shs 25 trillion in the next financial year 2022/23, Uganda Revenue Authority [URA] has introduced new mechanisms meant to get more taxes from the taxpayers.

URA says it has embarked on a nationwide tax education campaign with the aim of raising awareness of voluntary tax payment and enforcement.

On June 14, 2022, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, unveiled Shs 48trn budget for the new financial year, out of which about 53 percent will come from domestic tax and non-tax revenue collections.

URA’s new initiatives to collect more taxes are important as the government seeks more money to fund its development projects, including funding the Parish Development Model [PDM], aimed at pushing 3.5mln households out of subsistence to the money economy in the next five years.

The Acting Commissioner Domestic Taxes, Diana Mwondha Kisaka said URA has introduced new penalties, which are among the tax amendments for the new financial year and are aimed at improving revenue collection in the country.

She said this on Tuesday during the regional post-budget dialogue held at Kalya Courts in Fort Portal city and organised by URA.

Kisaka said among the penalties include the payment of Shs 110mln which has been increased from Shs 4mln for giving misleading statements to URA. The penalty, she said, aims at encouraging voluntary compliance.

“We have decided to increase this penalty because we have found that some people give false information to URA and this time if discovered the penalty is imposed on your business,” she said.

Other offences related to Electronic Receipting and Invoicing System [EFRIS] and tax stamps now carry a fine of 1500 currency points or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both.

Each currency point is Shs 20,000 meaning that any offence committed under EFRIS and tax stamp will attract Shs 30mln.

She said the offences that will attract fine on EFRIS and tax stamps include failure to fix or activate tax stamps, forgery of EFRIS invoices, interfering with EFRIS control devices, failure to use EFRIS, forgery of tax stamps and printing over or defacing tax stamps.

“Another fine of 2,500 currency points or Shs50 million has been imposed on failure to file an information return relating to automatic exchange of information, failure to maintain records of purposes of automatic exchange,” she said.

The Commissioner Internal Audit at URA, Mr Herbert Rusoke, said URA has to introduced data management and analytics in line with the budget theme that highlights digital transformation through consolidation of usage of smart business solutions like digital stamps and EFRIS to improve the collection of local excise duty and value added tax heads respectively.

“As URA we decided that if we want to implement EFRIS and tax stamps in the new tax amendments we had to put those fines such we can be able to collect the local revenue,” he said.

In 2019, URA instituted a Voluntary Disclosure Programme where the taxpayer discloses information related to tax liabilities, misstatements or omissions his or her tax declarations to the tax body without being prompted by any action or threat of action by URA.

Voluntary disclosure also covers persons engaged in income generating activities who are not yet registered or whose registration details are inaccurate.

Those who voluntarily register for taxes can apply and will be required to pay only the principal tax due for the period of their noncompliance.

More tax collections will help government to reduce borrowing. As at the end of December 2021, Uganda’s total public debt stock stood at Shs 73.5 trn on account of increased disbursements and external borrowing due to revenue shortfalls and a rise in the fiscal deficit resulting from the negative impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the economy.

Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Finance, the nominal debt to GDP ratio stood at 49.7 percent in the same period, having increased by 2.5 percent from 47.2 percent as at December 2020 and is expected to rise to 51.6 percent by end of June 2022 and 52.9 percent in the financial year 2022/23.


Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our  country- wide vending points or an e-copy on emag.thecooperator.news




Exit mobile version