Kampala. Despite falling short of its annual revenue collection target, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) closed the 2017/18 financial year with Shs1.7 trillion more than it collected the previous year.
Speaking ahead of the Tax Payers’ Appreciation Week, Ms Doris Akol, the URA commissioner general, said despite the revenue shortfall, overall revenues improved on an annual basis on account of increased capacity to collect more taxes.
Overall, URA collected Shs14.4 trillion in the period under review out of the Shs15 trillion target.
This, Ms Akol said yesterday, was a result of policy reversal such as Import Duty on imported crude palm oil and the 10 per cent reduction on imported rice.
“Our collection targets remained the same despite the policy reversal. However, we are happy because we were able to register revenue growth by more than 13 per cent,” she said.
This translate to about Shs1.7 trillion more compared about Shs1.1 trillion that was collected over the last couple of years. The additional collection was realised from among others Pay As You Earn tax and Income Tax from companies.
Ms Akol also said URA had collected Shs4.7b from Over the Top (OTT), also known as social media and the Shs23b from mobile money tax in July.
Government had projected to collect at least Shs8.3b from social media users every month.
Ms Akol said the two taxes have brought new taxpayers in the fold thus spreading the tax reach as well as increasing revenue collection.
Meanwhile, URA together with more than 100 government ministries, departments and agencies will offer free services during the taxpayers’ appreciation week, slated for this month.
The week, which will run under the theme: “Stronger together”, seeks to increase tax awareness, promote government programmes, transparency and accountability.
Government in the 2018/19 financial year hopes to collect Shs16.3 trillion from domestic revenues of which Shs15.9 trillion will be collected by URA as tax revenue and Shs420b as non-tax revenue.
During the week, tax payers will receive free services, such as legal advice, financial and tax advisory, verification of land titles and yellow fever vaccination. There will also be HIV testing and counselling, Hepatitis B vaccination, sickle cell, cancer testing and registration of births and deaths.