Activists under their Black Monday movement have asked government to mount a crackdown on all tax evaders in the country.
This was during a media briefing at the Action Aid Uganda offices in Kasanga a Kampala suburb on Tuesday. They tasked government to establish an effective tax administration and policy frame work to ensure fair taxation to all citizens in the country as a means of eradicating poverty and transforming the country to a middle income economy.
“Several companies operating in the country continue to evade taxes worth billions of shillings and yet they still benefit from the services that government provides. This is theft and we call upon the citizens to denounce the companies and stop doing business with them,” said Julius Kapwepwe Mishambi, the Director of Programmes at Uganda Debt Network.
They urged Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to collect the already owed taxes before imposing new ones which they said affect the poor.
The activists also tasked citizens to pay their taxes but ensure they engage in the monitoring process of tax administration and governance which they say will ensure effective service delivery and curb corruption.
In May, URA issued a list of Uganda’s 1,000 tax defaulters. Mr Authur Larok the country director Action Aid Uganda said that if government recovered the money lost through tax evasion, the country would recover a quarter of the current budget.
Mr Larok also called government to embrace the leadership style of Buganda’s premier Charles Mayiga who was voted as an icon of integrity for the month of July by the movement.
“We have seen the enthusiasm displayed by the people when he (Mr Mayiga) is raising resources for the development, because once he collects, he shows where the money is going and the work being done. Imagine how many people would be willing to pay taxes if the Minister of Finance and members of government were that accountable to the public?”