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By Ikebesi OmodingDecember 17, 2018
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has set a full week beginning September 26th – 28th 2018 to appreciate tax payers’. The tax body will pay accolades to every tax payer in Uganda who has paid their dues in time.
Addressing journalists this week, the Commissioner General, Doris Akol, said, “This month, as we did last year, we are going to have a Tax Payer Appreciation Week as a way of thanking all tax payers in this country and also recognize and accolade the tax payers who have been faithful with tax payments. We shall have tax payers visit all the regions to interact with the public.”
In the first three days, Ministry of Finance Departments and Agencies will camp at Kololo Independence Grounds to account for their allocations. The entry is free.
Under the theme “Stronger Together” the tax payers are to receive free services such as: legal advice from qualified personels; financial and tax advisory from URA; verification of land titles from Ministry of Lands; yellow fever vaccination; HIV testing and counseling; Hepatitis B vaccination; sickle cell and cancer testing; heart, dental and eye checkups from Ministry of health departments; replacement of limbs and legs by Uganda People Defense Force; and; free Wi-Fi from the ministry of ICT. Also the 200 complaints’ taxpayers, will exhibit their goods and services at no cost; and an innovation village will showcase skills and business
The URA senior managers will visit small and medium taxpayers in form of appreciating them for contributing to nation development. On 21st this month, the managers will be involved in a countrywide tree planting exercise where over ten million trees will be planted, This is meant to rejuvenate Uganda’s receding tree caver.
The 28th will witness a grand finale where a gala dinner will be held at Kololo where taxpayers who excelled in 2017/18 will receive awards. Each ministry that is to exhibit at Kololo is to contribute UGX three million. “As URA this is going to cost us over UGX100 million,” added Akol.
According to Akol, URA in the last financial year 2016/17 collected UGX 14.5 trillion, but it failed to meet the target which was UGX 15 trillion. She petitioned them to meet the target on policy changes by the Government. “In the begging of last FY, import duty, which was levied on imported crude palm oil, was removed; also tax which was levied on imported rice was stopped. This made us fail to meet out target. However, last FY we had the best performance all over the region and our revenue base increased by 13.8%”
She said the increase in revenue collection is attributed to awareness strategies such as the taxpayer appreciations week of last year, media and open dialogue desk. The increase of 13.8% also brought an increase in the revenue base of the country to UGX1.76trillion.
Meanwhile, last July URA collected UGX4.7 billion on Over The Talk Tax, and UGX 22.7 billion, which meant that UGX 22.3 billion new revenue was collected .”We hope to see an increase in the coming months, since in the first month of July, most people avoided these two taxes, but as we see the number of people paying is increasing gradually. This was a good policy since we have expanded our tax base,” he added.