URA has engaged with MPs at Serena Hotel in a meeting themed ; Domestic revenue mobilization ;- the pathway to economic stability and self sufficiency. Right Hon Rebecca Kadag, the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda was the guest of honor and in her remarks urged Members of Parliament to acquaint themselves with the relevant tax laws so as to improve their knowledge on taxation.
While giving opening remarks at the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Members of Parliament tax sensitisation seminar meet yesterday 2nd November, 2016, at Kampala Serena Hotel, Kadaga called upon the legislators to increase vigilance while carrying out the oversight mandate during the financial year.
“I urge you as Members of Parliament to obtain the necessary information to improve your knowledge on adopting positive measures for equity and fairness in taxation,” she said. “I also want to encourage URA to take this drive to civil societies, academia and private entities so that there is joint action on Domestic Revenue Mobilization,” she added.
The Commissioner General of URA, Doris Akol commended Parliament for a great partnership especially in passing the Value Added Tax, the Income Tax, the Finance and the Excise Duty (Amendment), Bills 2016. She stressed the need for all stake holders to work together, emphasizing that Domestic Tax Revenue is a task for every Ugandan to carry out. “If we work together, our Domestic Revenue will increase and will drive us towards achieving middle income status.” Akol said.
A presentation from Siraye Kanyesigye, the Assistant Commissioner URA streamlined the role of Agriculture as a key sector in contributing to the revenue base. Kanyesigye said that it is wrong for people to think that agriculture should be exempted from taxation, because it generates a lot of revenue, last year’s being 31.9%.
Uganda Revenue Authority has been in existence for 25 years. Last year, the organisation’s Net Revenue collection was ushs 11.230.879BN (15.6% growth) and a growth in tax payer registration by 139,189(18.2%).
Akol, while explaining the different challenges URA faces such as inadequate funding for priority initiatives, staff strength and reach, smuggling, dumping and diversion of cargo, said that URA is realising tremendous growth as the numbers from this year’s 1st quarter performance show.
“URA has had a net revenue collection of ushs first 2,815,56billion (14.26%) and Taxpayers registered at 35,338(3.92%),” she noted.
The URA-MPs seminar was attended by Members of Parliament from different committees such as COSASE, Budget, National Economy and representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. The forum will provide insights in taxation and guide Members of Parliament on how taxes are applied to different individuals and organisations.
The Seminar focused on an overview on the URA tax administration operations, domestic tax revenue mobilisation, and strategies to increase the tax base, and trends in international trade taxes and the importance of improving domestic revenues.
The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the core issues related to ongoing domestic revenues mobilisation efforts, tax compliances culture, and awareness on the national duty of paying taxes.
The objection of the seminar was to avail a platform to discuss the core issues related to ongoing tax domestic revenue mobilisation efforts, tax compliances culture and assesses on the national duty of paying taxes.