URA closes first quarter with Shs470m revenue shortfall

Ms Doris Akol, the Uganda Revenue Authority commissioner general.

What you need to know:

Target. Registered shortfall is the lowest in the recent past.

Kampala. Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has missed its first quarter revenue collection targets by Shs470 million, the tax body revenue quarter performance indicates.
Releasing her maiden revenue performance results at the tax body’s headquarters in Kampala yesterday, the new Commissioner General, Ms Doris Akol said: “During the period July to October 2014, URA has collected net revenue of Shs2.8 trillion, registering a performance rate of 99.98 per cent.”
She continued: “This represents a growth of 15 per cent (translating into Shs388 billion) compared to the same period last year.”
The deficit which translates into about Shs470 million is the lowest ever registered in recent years
The performance of the last four months was boosted by impressive domestic collections which recorded 100 per cent performance.
“Domestic taxes collection amounted to Shs 1.5 trillion, registering a performance rate of 100 per cent. This represents a growth of 12 per cent (translating to Shs169 billion) compared to the same period last year,”Ms Akol announced.
Although it also marginally missed its target, revenue from Customs taxes (international trade taxes) registered a performance rate of 99 percent, representing a growth of 19 per cent compared to the same period last year.

In the current financial year 2014/15 (July 2014 to June 2015), URA is expected to collect Shs9.5 trillion compared to Shs8.5 trillion that was targeted last financial year 2013/14. Some of the initiatives for the remaining period, according to Ms Akol include special focus on Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax audits, strengthening the monitoring of financial, manufacturing, energy, construction, wholesale and retail trade and real estate, verification of offset position and further reduction from 10 percent planned to 15 percent.
Other initiatives include engaging the top 500 taxpayers in a bid to understand their business and harness strategic relationships, identify and engage taxpayers with rental income and more visibility and creation of more avenues of outreach to the smallest potential taxpayer among others

Barrier elimination

Meanwhile, Uganda Revenue Authority and ministry of Trade signed a Memorandum of Understanding to eliminate barriers and bureaucracies and ease business for the private sector. The key initiative under this arrangement is the Electronic Single Window System (E-SW), a platform for information exchange. It links government, clearing agencies and local traders thus facilitating international trade. The system will also complement other national and regional trade facilitation initiatives such as; Integrated Border Management (IBM) and One-Stop- Border Posts (OSBP) that are yet to go on-line.