URA Engages Mid-Western Business Community To Foster Tax Compliance

By Immaculate Wanyenze

Since the outbreak of the COVID 19, businesses in Uganda have suffered loss of revenue and had disruption of supplies however, this has not blurred the mandate of the taxman who needs to grow Uganda’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to at least 20%.

In a bid to mobilize enough revenue to match the 20% tax to GDP target, URA has among other initiatives embarked on a cost-efficient service-centric approach of listening more to the concerns and being more responsive to URA’s clients.

Recently, they set out to engage key influential business persons in the Mid-Western region and will proceed to South Western for the same.

The team led by James Abola, the Assistant Commissioner Compliance, during the different taxpayer meetings held in wenzori International Hotel in Kasese and Mountains of the Moon Hotel in Fort Portal pledged to listen to the pains business persons face as they struggle to contribute their fair share of revenue.

Abola said by focusing on encouraging tax compliance, URA staff will be working to demystify paying tax to grow the country’s GDP.

He added that our target was below regional performance and can only be compared to that of South Sudan unlike our immediate neighbors of Kena and

Rwanda.

He also challenged the business leaders to pay tax in a transparent manner and avoid bribing staff to have some taxes reduced. He added that the continuous improvement at URA is what will enable clients to be satisfied with the services, informed on what taxes to pay, involved and responsive in their tax affairs and eventually compliance.

“URA is willing to support you, understand your issues so that vou can happily contribute to tax. The challenge with most of us is we can’t do business without kitu kidogo.” Abola emphasized of corrupt tendencies among some taxpavers.

 

On Integrity still, Abola promised taxpayers that URA will continue doing intensive tax education up to the grassroots in line with her core values of Professionalism, Integrity and Patriotism.

“We urge you leaders to join efforts in fighting corruption carried out by some of our staff. We need to serve you better having been in existence for 30 years now,” Abola said on the need for the business community to continuously engage with URA.

For Gloria Nshekanabo, the Ag. Manager Ethics and Integrity, the regional forums are a feedback mechanism intended to assess URA’s performance in engagement and service.

“We need to know what things we are doing poorly or areas that need improvement and how we can transform our country because growth of the economy relies on all our efforts,” she said.

On the other hand, the Chairman Business Community in Fort portal, Richard Rwabuhinga thanked URA for moving closer to the taxpaying public. This way he believes will influence taxpayers to pay.

He also suggested to have the compliant business leaders trained so that they act as tax ambassadors and teach the rest on behalf of URA.

During the engagements, it was also evident that the Taxman still has an uphill task of educating taxpayers on the basics such as; the rights and obligations, what taxes to pay, how to file returns and acquiring a TIN.

 

 

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