URA recovers Shs25b after intensifying enforcement

L-R: URA officials James Kisaale, Julius Nkwasire, Asadu Kisitu and Dustan Luwaga during the release of the Customs Enforcement Annual report in Nakawa, Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY JOSEPH KIGGUNDU

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New challenge. Undervaluation facilitated by electronic fraud remains the biggest problem for the authority.

Kampala. Uganda Revenue Authority enforcement department has collected about Shs25 billion in revenue from tax payers who were trying to evade their obligations, the head of enforcement team has said.
While releasing the enforcement report yesterday at a news conference in Nakawa, Kampala, the assistant commissioner enforcement, Mr James Kisaale, said compared to the previous years, smuggling is reducing although with technological advancement, electronic fraud is emerging as a new challenge.
“Enforcement operations which we carried between November last year to October this year led to 5635 seizures which yielded total revenue recovery of Shs25.2billion in both taxes and fines,” Mr Kisaale said.
He continued: “These recoveries were made on goods worth Shs52 billion in value. Out of this, the total fraud value of the non-dutiable goods was Shs 8.7 billion and the total fraud value of the dutiable goods was Shs43, 314million.”

Nature of offences
According to the annual enforcement report, undervaluation, facilitated by electronic fraud remains one of the biggest challenges that the tax collectors are paying a lot of attention to.
The report also showed recovery from under valuation of goods over the last 12 months stood at Shs9.8 billion which was 39 per cent of the total tax recoveries.
Recoveries from mis-declaration and false declaration stood at Shs8.3 billion translating into 33 per cent of the total tax recoveries while recovery from outright smuggling was worth Shs3 billion, registering a 12 percent of the total tax recoveries.
Other offences (such as violation of Temporary road licences, conveyance of uncustomed goods, abuse of exemptions, among others) altogether contributed Shs3.3 billion translating into 14 percent of the total tax recoveries.
On the other hand, recovery from concealments using electronic scanners amounted to Shs467 million.

Top on the list of most smuggled goods
In the last one year, the most smuggled goods were; garments with 76 seizures worth Shs1.8 billion in value and Shs1.2 billion in taxes and penalties. Rice was also the other item that got 125 seizures worth Shs218 million in value and Shs447 million was recovered in taxes and penalties as well. Hardware had 13 seizures worth Shs866 million in value and Shs309 million in taxes and penalties. Others include are electricals with nine seizures worth Shs459 million in value and Shs189 million recovered in taxes and penalties.

Other ways of curbing fraud
Other efforts such as stepping up Anti- Illicit sensitisation campaigns targeting specific sectors of the economy such as the textile, and hardware sectors, transporters and drivers associations among others arebeing explored.
Inter-agency collaboration with other law enforcement agencies to deal with various aspects of illicit trade, according to enforcement report is another alternative being explored.