URA boss calls on Ugandans to embrace EFRIS for compliance

John R. Musinguzi, the Commissioner General of the URA has appealed to Ugandans to promote the usage of the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) by requesting for fiscalized receipts whenever they buy goods and get VAT-related services.

“When a person issues an e-receipt through EFRIS, we are able to collect VAT, and there are many channels URA has put in place for EFRIS such as the EFRIS Mobile App, on the web, desktop app, and system-to-system integration,” said Musinguzi while speaking at the workshop to review Uganda’s resource envelope for the Financial Year 2024/25.

Musinguzi affirmed that Uganda’s revenue can grow if all VAT-registered taxpayers start using EFRIS.

URA introduced EFRIS in 2021 to address tax administration challenges relating to business transactions and the issuance of receipts. By the close of the last financial year, the VAT taxpayer register had 35,046 taxpayers, with the tax head performing at 91.67%.

In addition to low compliance with EFRIS, Musinguzi pointed out abuse of incentives and the large informal sector as some of the other factors that are stifling revenue growth in Uganda.

“We have some challenges, such as the large informal sector, the poor tax-paying culture, corruption, abuse of tax incentives by some investors, and unintegrated government systems, which we are working hard to address to grow revenue,” Musinguzi stated.

He however, noted that URA has instituted measures to foster compliance and grow collections, including the new performance management system, improved taxpayer ledgers, centralized management of cargo, harmonized digital stamps, the implementation of modernized tax systems, and heightened tax education.

Speaking at the workshop, Ramathan Ggoobi, the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, concurred with the adoption of technology to grow revenue and pledged to support the URA’s efforts on that front.

“With EFRIS and DTS, you have our full support because that is the only way we are going to boost the country’s VAT collections. We will engage all leaders at all levels to cooperate and support,” said Ggoobi.

The leaders assert that growing collections will go a long way in improving Uganda’s tax-to-GDP ratio, which currently stands at 14%, just 2% behind the Sub-Saharan Africa rate of 16%.

By Kamugisha Kabahweza Allan MMU/PCA

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