URA to launch digital strategy

Digital tax stamps will be key in driving URA's digital strategy. Photo / File 

What you need to know:

  • URA had in the past three years integrated ICT in tax administration, thus transforming not only tax processes

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will this Friday launch its five-year digital transformation strategy, which it says is a progressive approach to integrate technology into tax administration. 

Mr Ibrahim Bbosa, the URA assistant commissioner for public and corporate affairs, confirmed the launch, saying details of the strategy would be available after the launch this Friday.

The strategy is expected to facilitate URA’s agenda of automating tax processes, quality assurance and mitigating revenue leakages. 

URA has in the past three years integrated ICT in tax administration, thus transforming not only tax processes, but how it interacts with stakeholders.

The digital strategy, which is expected to work well with government's current digital agenda, will primarily focus on increasing efficiency as well as leverage on ICT to enhance operations and improve URA's capability in mitigating revenue leakages.  

URA has in the last five years implemented a number of digital solutions under the Domestic Revenue Mobilisation Strategy, in which it seeks to widen the tax base and recruit more taxpayers into the taxable fold. 

Such innovations include digital tax stamps (DTS), implemented by SICPA, Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) and digitizing rental tax, among others.

The innovations remain central to closing tax leakages and improving compliance. 

In 2019, URA implemented DTS, thus improving excisable tax collections, which during the 2022/23 financial year grew by Shs157.9b, representing an increase of 24.2 percent. 

The growth underscores effectiveness of digital solutions in efforts to improve tax administration and domestic revenue mobilisation.

A World Health Organisation report on tax administration, indicate that digital tax stamps have been key in addressing revenue leakages as well as enabling traceability of the origin of goods.  

"Digital tax stamps serve as a formidable tool in countering tax evasion. They encapsulate key details such as brand specifics, manufacturer's information, production location, and chronological data of the stamp, enabling comprehensive product traceability," the report notes.

The strategic initiative has spurred a significant increase in DTS adoption — rising from 200 companies in 2020 to 1,171 companies currently using the solution.