URA posts surplus in August
Posted Friday, September 27 2013 at 01:00
Kampala- Uganda Revenue Authority has for the first time in more than 12 months registered a surplus in international trade tax, thanks to stringent controls and management.
Although the surplus is minimal, the tax authority believes this is an indication of good times ahead as it is intensifying efforts to close the leakages in an area that has consistently registered shortfalls, including largely contributing to the previous financial year revenue deficit of Shs135 billion.
“International trade taxes’ collections for the month of August 2013 were Shs293 billion against a target of shs288 billion, posting a surplus of Shs5 billion,” the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) commissioner for customs, Mr Richard Kamajugo, said yesterday when releasing last month’s revenue performance.
Comparing the performance with the previous year (August 2012), the tax segment (international trade taxes’) collections grew by 16 per cent which is about Shs41 billion growth.
He continued: “We believe we can sustain this (hitting international target collection), given our controls and measures that we have instituted.”
Critics have, however, warned against early celebration, given that there is no evidence yet to show that the improved performance in taxes accrued from customs is as a result of increased activities/imports—meaning this could be a one off achievement.
However, the spillover of the international trade performance was evident in the overall collection as it ensured the month of August closed with a revenue surplus as well.
“Net revenue collections for August 2013 were Shs633 billion against a target of Shs607 billion, posting a surplus of Shs26 billion,” Mr Kamajugo said.
In comparison to the performance of the previous year around the same time, the net revenue collections increased by Shs117 billion—about 22 per cent increase.
About Shs24 billion surplus realised in Domestic taxes out of a target Shs331 billion ensured that the tax collectors closed the month of August revenue books without any queries.
Reasons for the August 2013 performance, according to the tax body, include enforcement of the provisional collection order which allowed URA to effect the changes in the law even as the policies were being discussed.
Surplus in taxes such as Pay as You earn (PAYE), improved monitoring and continued enforcement on defaulters, increases in the payrolls and returns from some big companies, Payment of PAYE arrears by the local governments and VAT from electricity subsector, all explains the surplus registered in the month of August.
Other reasons include tax on bank interest which registered a Shs8.5 billion increase from Treasury Bills and bonds .
Highlights of results
•Domestic taxes performed at 107 per cent
•Direct domestic taxes performed at 116 per cent
• Indirect domestic taxes performed at 97 per cent
• Fees and licenses performed at 125.73 per cent
•International trade taxes performed at 101 percent