URA recovers Shs651.7b from seizures, court cases

Friday July 23 2021
fin01pix

During the just concluded financial year, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) recovered more than Shs651 billion enforcement measures, which included tax investigations, interceptions and litigations. PHOTO/FILE

By Ismail Musa Ladu

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) recovered a combined Shs651.7b from tax enforcement measures resulting from tax investigations, interceptions, seizures and litigations during the 2020/21 financial year

The Shs651.7b contributed to the 14 per cent of the total revenue collections posted during the just concluded 2020/21 financial year- despite closing with a Shs2.3 trillion revenue deficit.   

While addressing journalists during release of the annual performance report, Mr John Musinguzi, the URA commissioner general, said enforcement interventions would continue to be a fixture but noted they will be the last resort after all avenues have been exhausted. 

During the period, according to Mr Musinguzi, Shs67.7b was recovered from 5,823 seizures, of which 4,843 were on dutiable goods while 980 seizures were on non-dutiable goods. 

The seizures resulted from a number of offences, key among them under-declaration, which contributed at least 59.39 per cent while mis-declaration contributed 18.38 per cent.  Other offences included temporary road and transit violations, among others. 

URA also recovered huge sums of money through litigation, in which out of the 259 cases that were filed, 65 were decided in favour of URA. However, the tax agency lost 20.  

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Some of the cases, Mr Musinguzi said, were disposed of through Alternative Dispute Resolution thus unlocking about Shs365b that had been tied in court cases.  At least 158 cases were probed through tax investigation, from which more than Shs219b was recovered. 

In the just concluded 2020/21 financial year, URA collected net revenue of Shs19.2 trillion, posting a growth in revenue of Shs2.5 trillion. 

During the period, the ratio of tax to gross domestic product grew slightly by 1 per cent, the highest growth in over four years. 

URA also noted that during the 2020/21 financial year, at least 189,377 taxpayers were added onto the taxpayer register, which by close of the period under review had grown to 1,783,493 taxpayers. 

This, URA said, was supported by a number of process improvements, key among them simplifying the process of acquiring a tax identification number, implementing of Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System, which now monitors 72 per cent of goods processed into the country from Mombasa, and implementation of digital tax tracking solutions. 

URA has also initiated the second phase of the Customs Business Systems Enhancement that seek to harmonise custom procedures and systems to improve cross border trade, collaboration between government agencies and clearance time to the reduce cost of doing business 

Collection target  
URA will this financial year seek to mobilise Shs 22.3 trillion, an increase of Shs3.1 trillion compared to what was collected in the 2020/21 financial year. 

According to Mr Musinguzi, URA will endeavor to boost her revenue mobilisation efforts as the country seek to raise tax to gross domestic product ration. 

Therefore, he said, URA will need every Ugandan to support tax mobilization measures to bolster growth and development. 

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