Low spirits sales, slowdown in manufacturing result into tax shortfall 

A reduction in spirits sales impacted collections from excisable goods. Photo / File 

What you need to know:

  • Excise duty and value added tax where both below target during September 

A slowdown in manufacturing and reduction in sales of spirits negatively impacted tax collections in September, according to a report by Ministry of Finance. 

Details indicate that the slowdown impacted both excise duty and value added tax, which were both below target, thus creating a Shs26.83b shortfall in domestic tax collections.

“Both excise duty and [value added tax] were below target, with the former being affected by lower than anticipated sales of spirits, while the latter was mainly affected by less than expected activity in the manufacturing sector,” the report indicates.

However, under the direct domestic tax head, pay as you earn registered a surpluses, but there were more shortfalls registered for corporate, casino and treasury instruments taxes. 

During September, Ministry of Finance indicates that indirect domestic tax collections were below target, with Uganda Revenue Authority realizing Shs549.2b, which was Shs26.83b less than the targeted Shs576b. 

The report further highlights other shortfalls, with the biggest recorded under taxes on international trade, which was below the targeted Shs856.75b by Shs90.36b with value added tax, withholding tax and import duty, all charged on imports, returning lower than projected performance. 

The shortfalls, therefore, impacted domestic revenue collections with URA realising Shs2.03, which was lower than the projected Shs2.187 trillion, of which Shs1.8 trillion was tax revenue, while the remainder was non-tax revenue. 

Tax collection was therefore below target by Shs158.89b, part of which  Shs134.44b was due to shortfalls in direct, indirect, and international trade taxes. 

During the period, Ministry of Finance noted, however, that total government’s expenditure stood at Shs2.3 trillion, which was below the planned Shs2.6 trillion.  

Underperformance in development projects, which stood at 63.5 percent due to less than planned disbursements from development partners, was recorded while expenditure on recurrent items was Shs1.849 trillion, which was 4.3 percent below target due to ministries, departments and agencies that had front- loaded expenditure to the first two months of quarter one. 

Thus, government operations in September resulted in a fiscal deficit of Shs231.8b against a planned deficit of Shs216.8b due to shortfalls registered for both domestic revenues and grants during the month.