Kagina tells tax agents to cut cost of doing business

Former URA Commissioner General Allen Kagina addresses tax agents during the inaugural Freight forwarders’ dinner held in Kampala recently. Photo by Stephen Otage

What you need to know:

Merge. Agents told to establish one central office


Former Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General Allen Kagina has advised its tax agents to merge offices and reduce the cost of doing business rather than opening small branches all over the region.
Speaking at the inaugural annual Freight Forwarders dinner in Kampala recently, Mr Richard Kamajugo, the commissioner Customs, also told the tax agents comprising of Logistics, Clearing and freight forwarding companies that it is not cost-effective for them to open individual offices all over the region yet maintaining one office would serve the purpose.
“You may have goods you need to clear in Mombasa which require your physical presence there, but you can link up with the office to clear them without you necessarily being there. It is about change of mindset,” he told the tax agents.
According to Ms Marianne Ssebunya, the secretary Uganda Freight Forwarders’ Association, the annual dinner was organised in appreciation of Ms Kagina’s effforts for creating trust between the authority and the tax agents, breaking the mistrust which previously existed between the two.
“We are happy that you embraced the public-private-partnerships way ahead of all public institutions. When you embraced us, we shaped and styled up. Now, we, have established and maintained a trusted partnership,” she told Ms Kagina.
According to Ms Kagina, the annual dinner, which is an initiative of the private sector, is very significant in URA’s history because for all the 22 years she served in the tax authority, there has never been a send-off initiated by the tax agents to honour an outgoing URA chief because of the adversarial mode of operations which existed between URA and the tax agents.

Association’s role
Uganda Freight Forwarders Association aims at promoting professionalism and integrity in the freight forwarding industry in Uganda. Membership is for both local and foreign companies involved directly and/ or indirectly in freight logistics (shipping, customs clearing, cargo handling, warehousing plus transporting).