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Uganda Revenue Authority
Toll Free Number: 0800117000
Richard Kamajugo
The Commissioner 
for Customs
Uganda Revenue Authority

Location: Plot M193/M194, Nakawa Industrial Area, Kampala Uganda
Postal Address: P O Box 7279 Kampala Uganda

URA sued over Shs16b ‘unlawful’ tax refunds
A whistle-blower has taken Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to court over what he says were unlawful tax refunds to several exporting companies. In the case filed on March 21 in the commercial court, Mr Joseph Okuja, through Taslaf Advocates and Consultants, alleges that URA made Shs15.8b worth of Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds to about 20 companies in the coffee, flower, fresh fish and fresh fruits export sectors between 2014 and 2015. The former URA employee wants the court to declare that such refunds were illegal.“The plaintiff’s claims against the defendant are declaratory orders that exempt supplies as provided for under section 19 (1) of the Value Added Tax Act (VAT) are not taxable supplies and therefore cannot become taxable supplies at zero rate when exported to warrant a refund of input tax claims,” Read more
URA warns traders against undervaluing Products, counterfeiting
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has vowed to continue to crack the whip on traders and manufacturers who undervalue their imported goods as well as those that trade in counterfeited products.The tax body says that such tendencies promote unfair business competition and could result into legitimate businesses crumbling.During an engagement between URA, the traders in Kampala and clearing agents, Dickson Kateshumba the Commissioner for Customs at URA said that traders connive with unprofessional clearing agents to declare less value for the goods they import.In some cases, he added, the clearing agents are imposters that are taking advantage of unsuspecting businessmen.“We want to ensure that everyone is surviving fairly in the business environment. We have made some reforms within our Document Processing Centre (DPC) and reduced the physical interaction between our officers and the clearing agents during the processing of entries,” Kateshumba said.Read more
President Museveni: URA tasked to increase revenue to Shs34 trillion
President Museveni has asked Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to increase the tax to GDP ratio to at least 20 per cent by 2020. This means the tax body would have to increase its collections from Shs11.2 trillion to Shs34 trillion. URA’s revenue collections are at 12.78 per cent, the lowest in the region. This is also lower than the regional sub-Saharan Africa average of 18 per cent. Mr Museveni challenged URA to tap into the informal sector to widen the tax base. He also said they would convert the 68 per cent households involved in subsistence farming to commercial farming as a way of broadening the tax base.“Although this figure is still low, one of the lowest in the region, efforts are being made to enhance the capacity of URA to widen the tax base to increase revenue collections from areas that are untaxed like the informal sector,” he said in a speech delivered by Mr Ruhakana Rugunda, the Prime Minister. Read more 
How URA’s tax reforms changed Uganda’s fortunes
Uganda’s tax revenue stood at a paltry 5% of GDP, while the country struggled to pull itself from the effects of past wars, which had eroded its macro-economic stability.Revenue at the time was heavily dependent on export taxes, which discouraged exports, although later, this was replaced by import taxes.A revenue body known as the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) was then established in 1991, by an act of parliament, to collect all government revenue and facilitate trade in Uganda.A number of tax reforms had been instituted, and revenue collection was on its way to making the country more self-sufficient from complete donor dependency.“Over the past 25 years, we have seen a number of reforms that have revived the tax system, to a level where we are now respected and recognised in global taxation circles for the efficiency of our tax systems,” Dickson Kateshumbwa, the commissioner for customs says.According to kateshumbwa, the growth in domestic revenue in Uganda has hardly kept pace with the growth of the economy especially the growing expenditure demands.He says the absolute expansion in the size of the government budget over the years explains the increase in the budget deficit, which is partly financed by external borrowing. Read more
How URA loses Shs50bn annually in shipping industry
Uganda looses up to 50 billion shillings annually in revenue due to failure to enforce the Marine Act, leading Insurance broker Aon’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Maurice Amogola has said.He said that much of the cargo being shipped in to the country is not insured locally, shifting the benefits to foreign insurance firms and economies.Mr. Amogola called on the Uganda Revenue Authority, the chief tax collector to move in fast to seal the anomaly, a move that could significantly boost their collections and push the country closer towards achieving the middle-income economy status.“Goods coming to Uganda should be insured in Uganda. This will give the country good revenue and create employment locally and stimulate economic growth”, Mr. Amogola said.He said that insuring goods with international firms can lead to delays as it can take longer time to make follow ups and receive compensation, leaving the clients frustrated.“If one has a problem in Mombasa or gets problems when the goods are on transit to Kampala it will take them a long time even to get the insurance company in Europe or other overseas countries to assess the damage. Local companies are best suited to sort out the issues because they are readily available”, he added. Read more
URA to issue Certificates of Origin
A Certificate of Origin is a shipping document indicating that shipped export goods are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country for easy traceability. The URA commissioner general, Doris Akol made the announcement during a meeting held on the Electronic Single Window project implementation team and over 180 exporters.The meeting deliberated the implication of the Finance Act whose implementation follows the directive by the Minister of Finance in the budget.“Issuance of CoO by URA will lead to immediate reduction of key export costs like payment of CoO and registration fees with the reduced costs totalling to over US$50,000” said Akol.  Forecasts indicate that the change and a fully implemented Electronic Single Window (ESW) will enable businesses to save over US$500,000 annually, thanks to the creation of the ESW system.Read more
Political interference affecting tax collection – URA official
Failure of the government to put tax revenue into good use that benefits the society is the major challenge affecting tax collection in the country, a senior official has said.According to Mr Evaristto Mugisha, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) official attached to Domestic Taxes Department, tax collection is affected by government’s challenge of striking a strategic balance between desire for tax revenue and appeasement of certain factions of society to gain political popularity.“The sentiments expressed by politicians have at times been contrary to tax legislations implemented by URA and the obvious is jeopardising tax yields and putting the professional independence of the authority under suspicion,” he said. Read more
URA closes Nakivubo stadium over 400 million debt
Footballers, who train from the stadium, have also been banned from accessing the grounds for their training and other football matches.The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has closed off Nakivubo Stadium over unpaid taxes, amounting to Shs484m, that has accumulated. URA debt manager, Mr Abdusallam Waiswa, revealed that the management of Nakivubo has failed to fulfill their promise of remitting the taxes as per the MoU, which was signed by both parties."When we closed them, they pleaded that we give them time and we accepted. We signed a MoU and they promised that they would remit all the taxes which they owe us, in vain. We have decided to close them down so that they could pay their outstanding taxes." Mr Waiswa said during the closure. Read more 
URA collects shs 10 trillion through E-Payment
More Ugandans are turning to e-payment systems for their taxes than carrying blocks of cash to the banks or the tax body's offices.Doris Akol, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) boss, said recently at headquarters in Nakawa that in the financial year, at least Shs 10 trillion was paid through the e-tax payment systems, accounting for close to 88 per cent of the revenue body's target of Shs 11.3tn."In the just-concluded financial year, over two million payment transactions had been carried out from our e-payment platforms. They amounted to Shs 10tn," Akol said. "This performance indicates that each passing month, the number of transactions on these platforms keep improving and so are the respective collections."The electronic platforms include the electronic funds transfer and mobile money. Mobile money remains the most used platform of money transfer in Uganda, accounting for close to Shs 30tn.Read more
URA partners with PayWay to ease tax payment
After receiving new revenue collection targets, the Uganda revenue authority has announced a new partnership with PayWay, to expand its collection platforms across the country. According to commissioner general, Doris Akol, the platform is another convenient payment system through which the taxman’s clients will file their returns in an effort to further its efficiency.“URA wants to make it easy and convenient for everyone to comply on their taxes, and as such we are keen on improving service delivery especially for those in rural areas and border points.  The development is therefore another milestone for the Authority,” she said. This was at the commissioning ceremony of the partnership at the URA headquarters in Nakawa. She said customers will access the service through the URA website to register their tax payment transaction, for which a payment registration slip with a unique reference number (PRN) will be given. Read more
URA battling fake documents to recover billions of Shillings
As it battles a revenue shortfall of Shs250b, Uganda Revenue Authority enforcement (URA) team says it has uncovered a group of people who are forging documents in order to evade taxes.The authority cites an importer, who submitted invoices to of 32 motorcycles with each valued at $380 (Shs1.3m) through a clearing agent, Jinca Enterprises. However, the invoices were found to be falsified. The actual value of each motorcycle, according to URA, is $2500 (Shs8.3m). The import value was under-declared by Shs7m. “we have found out that a lot of document forgery was going on,” Ms Agnes Nabwire, the assistant commissioner in charge of Enforcement at URA, told reporters. Read more 
URA tells traders to issue receipts for all business transactions
Did you know that according to the law, any transaction involving payment of a minimum of Shs200 must be issued with a receipt and that a buyer has a right to demand for it?Without a receipt, the goods in one’s possession could be regarded smuggled; leaving owners liable to legal consequences should the necessary law be applied. A receipt is a document issued by a seller to a buyer as evidence of a transaction.According to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), for businesses whose annual sales turnover is Shs10 million and above, receipts must be issued for any transaction made.Mr William Kiganda, the URA acting commissioner for domestic taxes, said businesses that generate sales worth Shs10 million  have less than 90 days to put their houses in order. After ’ grace period, any business found transacting without issuing genuine receipts will be dealt with according to the law. “A person who fails to issue a receipt/tax invoice that meets minimum standards may face penalties or prosecution as provided for under the law,” Mr Kiganda said while launching the receipt issuance campaign dubbed, “bambi mpa lisiiti yange.” Read more
URA: Tax professionals on the spot over unethical practices
Professionals involved in practices that breed non-tax compliance or outright fraud are a disgrace to the country, tax and revenue experts have said.According to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General Doris Akol, the executive director of the East African School of Taxation (EAST), Mr Godfrey Akena and a seasoned tax expert, Mr Simon Kagugube, professionals who perpetuate tax abuses and fraud are not only badly draining the country but are also a liability to the society.Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 117 graduates of post graduate diplomas in tax revenue and administration from EAST, Ms Akol told the graduates that being experts in tax matters is incomplete without upholding the professional ethical standards of the profession.She said: “Your job is beyond just the nuts and bold of taxation. It is incumbent upon you to enforce compliance.”She continued: “Ethical standards alongside capacity and competence are a key factor in tax administration. And if you compromise especially the ethics then everybody will be shocked and surprised by your conduct because tax payers do not expect you to do that.” Read more

URA challenged to reduce cargo clearing time to six hours
The Mutukula border post has finally been handed over to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) after being turned into a modern facility. However, the return on investment will be decided by how fast the $7.2m (Shs240b) facility clears cargo and facilitates trade and movement across the two border points of Uganda and Tanzania. Already, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), one the funders of the Mutukula One Stop Border Post (OSBP), is expecting to see tremendous decline in time spent clearing goods.According to URA commissioner customs Dicksons Kateshumbwa, clearance at Mutukula border takes slightly more than one and a half days, in itself an achievement, considering it would take weeks if not months to clear a single consignment. But TMEA country manager Allen Asiimwe, thinks the tax body can do more, saying the lesser time spent on navigating laborious custom bureaucracies—clearance, the better the business environment and the lesser the cost of doing business gets, making Uganda and the region attractive for trade and investment. Read more
Cross-border calls rip off telecoms, URA as shrewd operators reap big
Uganda’s tax collector and telecommunications firms are counting losses caused by small operators that have exploited loopholes in the One Area Network (OAN) system through offering cheap international calls. This has forced the latter to tighten surveillance measures while raising questions about innovation trends in the telecommunications industry.The OAN system was launched by the presidents of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan in an attempt to cut costs of roaming services incurred among Northern Corridor countries. Costs of telecommunication services account for a significant share of business expenses and also influence investment decisions, economists say.Under the OAN system, calls made between telecommunications networks located in participating countries are exempt from excise duty charged on international calls, a move that apparently reduced calling rates for local subscribers coupled with stronger growth prospects for the trade and services. Read more
Isn’t Uganda’s tax system immoral?
Although the massive taxpayer appreciation code-named omugano gwa URA concluded at Namboole stadium was a sweet thing for both the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the tax paying community, the introduction of the so many direct and indirect taxes may be in bad taste for Uganda’s economic terrain. Biblically, taxes are a noble thing, if we remember that Jesus Christ acknowledged the responsibility of paying taxes to Caesar by citizens. “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour,” goes a verse from the New International Version of the Bible.It is not that the payment of taxes is wrong. Where URA usually errs is the timing, cost or nature of taxes, and how they are being enforced. Good taxes are expected to be based on ethical standards. For example, how could government justify the exorbitant Pay As You Earn (PAYE) chopped off the paltry salaries of poor workers? Read more
We won’t back off despite traders’ strike, says URA
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has said it will not change its position on prosecuting traders who evade taxes despite a two-day strike by Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita) that started.Speaking to Daily Monitor, URA spokesperson Sarah Banage said: “No one will back off; it is the position of the institution to prosecute traders who are found to be evading taxes. They are striking because we have dug in on smugglers,” said Ms Banage. Business in downtown Kampala came to a standstill after traders, under their Kacita umbrella body, closed their shops protesting URA’s directive to arrest those who smuggle goods.Initially, those found with untaxed goods were fined when the tax body resolved to have them arrested instead.Read more
El-Nino rain costs UNRA Shs57b
El-Nino rain ravaging the country have so far cost the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Shs57 billion in maintaining the road network across the country, the agency’s executive director, Ms Allen Kagina, has said.Speaking at UNRA offices in Kampala, Ms Kagina said the agency has spent the said money in the last quarter to make roads passable as many were cut off by the rain that intensified.“Our maintenance budget is very small. Our budget was Shs95b, we did not get the Shs95b, we received Shs57b,” Ms Kagina told the press.She added: “This is the amount of money we have used to date to pay maintenance contractors and for emergency responses.” Read more
URA opens up to mobile money for tax payments
After attempts with Warid Telecom failed, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has now tapped MTN Uganda in order to allow tax payments using mobile money services.The second attempt at using mobile money for tax payment will allow taxpayers to use mobile money for clearance of taxes and other non-tax revenue like driving permits, passport fees, government tender fees and court fines, among others. Taxpayers will have a transaction limit of Shs4 million.“URA is transforming into a client-centric organisation. Anyone that accepts payments to be made and doesn’t recognise mobile money payments is not client-centric,” Ms Doris Akol, the Commissioner General URA told reporters. URA signed a similar agreement with then Warid Telecom and Orient Bank the deal fell through when Airtel acquired Warid. “The buyer did not continue with the payment system but still, they offered fewer options when it came to the types of taxes,” she added.Read more
URACG: URA misses revenue target by Shs36b
A slump in sales of locally manufactured beer, the One Network Area (ONA) and reduced Value Added Tax (VAT), all contributed to the failure by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to hit its target. In collection statistics released, the revenue body collected Shs2.46 trillion, short of the Shs2.5 trillion target. According to the authority, the deficit was due to the poor performance of domestic taxes.Domestic tax collections amounted to Shs1.3 trillion against a target of Shs1.36 trillion. There was less VAT payable by the oil and gas, electricity, soft drinks and beer segments. “This was due to increased capital investments in the sectors, which affected the net VAT payable because VAT is not a tax on investments,” said Ms Doris Akol, the URA Commissioner General. Read more
URA upgrades its electronic system
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has completed an upgrade to its Asycuda World tax system to make it quicker and better after users complained of intermittent system failure. Doris Akol, the URA Commissioner General noted that integrating Uganda’s tax system with other systems in the East African Community (EAC) such as Kenya’s Simba system sometimes slows the network. She noted that the network breaks down when users, such as clearing and forwarding firms, plug into it with limited bandwidth. “The network has not been robust enough and we did an upgrade of the system which will make it better,” Akol said at the sidelines of a field visit to African Queen Limited, a local large tax payer in Namanve, Mukono. She noted that the growth in African Queen Limited’s tax returns from to sh10b from sh575m is evidence that disciplined companies that pay their taxes can grow and thrive. Akol pointed out that efforts to expand the tax register have led to the addition of 102,000 new tax payers worth sh23b in tax revenues in the Kampala district alone.  The tax register had just 780,000 taxpayers at the end. Read more
URA gives car importers more time to clear taxes
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has given an extension to importers to clear taxes for cars which have overstayed in bonds.According to the custom laws, vehicles in bonded warehouses that haven’t paid taxes, are supposed to be auctioned off to recover the taxes.The dealers through their organisation, Associated Motor Dealers, had sought an extension, which URA granted.In a response written by URA commissioner customs Dicksons Kateshumbwa which Daily Monitor has seen, time for payment of taxes for vehicles in the bonds.“The circumstances under which your members find themselves is rather regrettable; however despite the odds, the partnership between yourselves and customs has continued to improve. Your request has been granted in line with Section 60(3) of the East African Community Management Act, however this is restricted to the listed number of vehicles,” Mr Kateshumbwa wrote.Read more
URA: DPP warns private sector players over tax evasion
 Traders, manufacturers and the multinational companies will not be allowed to get away with tax evasion, the country’s public prosecutor has warned. According to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Mike Chibita, cases that compromise optimum collection of taxes such as undervaluation, mis-declaration and false declaration, among others, will be disposed of swiftly and justly. In an interview, principal assistant DPP Betty Khisa, who was representing the DPP at the prosecutors’ symposium, a brain child of Uganda Revenue Authority, said businesses and individuals that are involved in the said illegal activities will not be allowed to walk scot free. “We have licenced Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to prosecute such cases and so far, they are doing a good job in that regard—prosecuting tax and related matters,” Ms Khisa said after officially opening the symposium in Kampala. Read more
URA: Double taxation policy to be finalised - government
 A policy to guide the formulation of a double taxation treaty will be finalised, the commissioner for tax policy at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Moses Kaggwa, has disclosed. Double taxation treaty (DTT) is an important agreement that determines which country has the right to tax profit of a company that has operations in two or more countries.Through such treaties, a multinational company can determine where to pay taxes from. And in most cases it will choose to pay taxes where it thinks the rates are lower or avoid paying them altogether.Speaking to Daily Monitor after touring a Uganda Revenue Authority building under construction, Mr Kaggwa said the treaty is undergoing final touches and in a matter of days, it should be a done deal.He said: “We are trying to finalise the policy because we will be presenting it before Cabinet.” Read more
URA: Uganda, Kenya authorities to resolve sugar crisis
Uganda and Kenya have set a meeting to resolve the dispute over the sugar deal allowing Uganda to export her sugar to Kenya.In his visit to Uganda, President Uhuru Kenyatta discussed the matter  with President Yoweri Museveni,  among other things, Kenya’s  blockage of importation of sugar from Uganda to satisfy her growing demand. Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga spiked off the sugar standoff after he questioned the importation of Uganda’s sugar to Kenya  deal when, according to him,  most Kenyan sugar factories are on the verge of closing down. He contended that the sugar importation from Uganda would kill off the Kenyan sugar industry. Odinga also accused Uganda of importing cheap sugar and trying to re-export it to Kenya.According to the Uganda revenue authority, the meeting will be attended by the Uganda and Kenya sugar authorities, sugar producers across the two countries, the EAC and URA in Kampala.“We expect to reach a resolution in that meeting over Kenya opposition’s claims that Uganda cannot sell cheap sugar to them and that we damp cheaply imported sugar on their market. Read more
URA: Uganda Revenue Authority to meet Kenya authorities over sugar
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is set to meet Kenya Revenue Authority officials and the Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association to decide on how to facilitate sugar trade in the region.The meeting will take place in Kampala. The sugar question has been a thorny issue between Uganda and Kenya for long, with the latter saying Uganda's sugar exports to Kenya would edge local producers out of business."We want to talk about the smooth flow of this trade," Dicksons Kateshumbwa, the URA commissioner for customs, told reporters at the revenue body's headquarters in Nakawa.The conflict on sugar trade peaked, sparking heated political debate in Nairobi, when Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta sealed an agreement with President Museveni that Ugandan sugar exports should go to Kenya while the latter's milk and beef products are accepted in Uganda. Read more
URA: Revenue authorities plot an end to multinational companies criminal tax activities
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has entered into partnership with the continent tax bodies in a move to wipe out illicit financial flows from Africa.A report on illicit financial flows (IFFs) estimates that Uganda loses at least Shs1.5 trillion to illegal activities perpetrated by the multinational companies.The money lost is nearly an equivalent of four times the budget allocated for agriculture.In the same report, the African Union/Economic Commission for Africa High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa report, chaired by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, shows that the multinational companies in Africa deny the continent its due share of revenue through tax evasion, money laundering and false declaration.Read more
URA hopeful of meeting new tax collection target
After registering a revenue shortfall of about Shs500 billion, the biggest shortfall, the tax body’s Commissioner General, Ms Doris Akol, has said the institution is determined to beat any revenue collection target the government sets for them. The government is expected to raise Shs18.3 trillion, with slightly more than half of that Budget being collected internally.At the moment, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is expected to collect nearly Shs11 trillion although it is believed this target will be reviewed with a view of pushing it to at least shs15 trillion. Speaking in an interview after an engagement with traders from down town Kampala, Ms Akol said the collection target is still a proposal that is yet to be confirmed. Read more
URA: Tax Rates Frustrate Ugandan Traders
 Small business people in one of Kampala's main trading hubs, Kiyembe, have asked Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to change their taxation system, saying its unfair and leaves them paying more revenue than they are actually earning from their businesses.A business owner with an annual turnover of between Ush20 million ($6,720) and Ush30 million ($10,080) has to pay Ush750,000 ($250).However those who make Ush30 million to Ush40 million ($13,440) have to pay Ush1,050,000 ($350) that is 3% of their income.Read more
URA enters last quarter with Shs18b surplus
After beating its collection target, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has recorded a revenue surplus, compelling Commissioner General Doris Akol to say the Shs9.5 trillion revenue target can be surpassed.With four moths left to end the financial year, URA is already ahead of its collection target by Shs18 billion, an amount equivalent to what Uganda National Bureau of Standards would need to fight the flow of counterfeit and substandard goods into the country.“URA is on right track and I am confident it will surpass the target,” Ms Akol said  while presenting the revenue performance.She continued: “The net revenue surplus of Shs18 billion for the period has been possible mainly as a result of improving compliance, improving URA capabilities which have helped to register more taxpayers (90,755) and monitor compliance in a timely manner and a better policy environment.” Read more
URA to re-introduce tax on vehicle owners
Individuals purchasing vehicles for personal use will be required to pay 18 per cent Value Added Tax on cars in addition to Customs taxes and other levies to weed out tax evaders, Daily Monitor reveals.The car import business has attracted a number of tax evaders, something which hurts tax collections.Uganda Revenue Authority is expected to raise Shs9.5 trillion. Although they have surpassed their half year target by nearly Shs25 billion, the pressure to maintain the tempo is high.This tax only applies to people dealing in motor vehicle businesses. However, the tax body says individuals buying vehicles for personal use are abusing the exemptions. Read more
URA: Uganda Takes Tax Disputes Online With E-Lit
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has launched the E-litigation system (e-Lit) to improve the effectiveness of their legal system in handling internal cases."We have a team of over 20 lawyers and handle a case portfolio of over 250 cases and applications. It has been a big challenge to us to track down all these case files manually and problems of a forgotten cases and lack of proper case reference. It is because of such challenges that our URA litigation team together with information technology team came up with this system proposal and we took it up because we could see its usefulness and importance at the time." Ali, Ssekatawa, the Assistant Commissioner, Litigation, URA, said .The new internal network is based on international best practices in managing busy law firms. The URA legal team wants a convenient method of effectively managing case information from time of initiation to the time of closure without facing any challenges.Read more
URA to Get Sh1 Billion From Confiscated Vehicles
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has estimated it could get more than Shs 1bn in revenue from the foreign-registered vehicles it impounded.Through its operation, URA seized 79 vehicles that were thought to be in the country illegally. At least 32 of them were later released after the owners presented genuine documents.James Kisale, the assistant commissioner for Enforcement, told reporters at URA head office in Nakawa recently that most of the vehicles were high- performance cars, which included station wagons, BMWs, and Mercedes Benzes."We found 47 vehicles whose owners presented falsified documents. They are foreign-registered but in the country illegally. They are worth Shs1bn in taxes," Kisale said.All the vehicles were from DR Congo. Two of the vehicles - an Audi and a Benz - were reportedly stolen from London, according to Interpol Uganda.Read more
URA: Producers call for higher taxes on imported wines
Local wine manufacturers have called on Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to impose higher taxes on imported wines because they are inferior and are being dumped here to confuse consumers.Speaking at a meeting, Ms Prudence Ukkonika, the managing director Bella Wines, said wine producing countries usually send the worst quality wine to Africa because it is cheaper to pack it in casks rather than bottles where good quality wine is often packed.“These countries send the worst quality of wine to Africa. They pack cheap wine in casks but the best wine is packed in bottles,” she said.She added that imported wines deserve higher taxes because local manufacturers import the bottles in which they package their wines which URA also taxes.Read more
URA breaks  jinx to post sh24.3b surplus
The Uganda Revenue Authority posted a sh24.3b tax collection surplus, credited to strict tax controls and administration.The authority collected sh4.568b against a target of sh4.544b, giving confidence to the tax collector that it would hit its target.“We enhanced monitoring and enforcement on defaulters, and registered improvement in domestic and international trade taxes,” the commissioner general, Doris Akol announced .“The performance registered a growth of 12.21%. Overall domestic taxes performed at 100.48%, while international trade taxes performed at 100.01% which is bright and encouraging,” she added.1q11Akol said this while addressing journalists following a tour of Kikuubo, Kampala’s wholesale trade hub. However, the poor performance of the Uganda shilling against the dollar caused a revenue loss of sh18.14b from international trade taxes.Read more
URA: Automation improves revenue collection by 21%
Overall automation and adaption of online tax systems have pushed up revenue collection up by 21%, the tax authority has revealed. The implementation of the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) also saved Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) $434,107 (sh1.2b), during which 9,350 consignments were tracked.  It costs sh130,000 for the physical escort of a truck from the port.  According to URA’s commissioner for customs, Richard Kamajugo, the automated systems, which include the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) have also improved overall efficiencies and reduced waste. “The clearance time is down and businesses can access and monitor their declarations, so those who are used to earning from telling lies are no more,” noted Kamajugo, while hosting officials from TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and DFID, at Nakawa. Read more
Indian Business forum meets URA
The Indian Business Forum (IBF) has held a meeting with the Uganda Revenue Authority in which the two bodies discussed ways they can undertake to improve their working relations in regard to matters of business and taxation.“As the Indian Business Forum, we are willing to work together with URA to educate our small business houses to pay taxes timely and rightfully. Many times lack of knowledge/ ignorance leads to non-compliance,” said Rajesh Chaplot, the IBF secretary general during the meeting held at Kati-Kati.Rajesh commended URA’s revenue collection, which exceeded the target, noting, however, that most businesses performed poorly due to the recession of the economy.Read more
  E&Y: URA records biggest revenue shortfall in decade
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) closed with a Shs500 billion shortfall, the biggest revenue deficit in over a decade. According to the tax body data, URA was expected to collect Shs8.5trilion but it collected just slightly more than Shs8trillion. The revenue collected was able to finance nearly 72 percent of the country’s national budget.According to tax analysts, the cumulative shortfall of Shs500billion was mainly as a result of the economy’s inability to generate sufficient economic activities that the tax body could have drawn revenues from.Speaking In an interview, the Ernst & Young Tax Partner/Country Leader, Mr Muhammed Ssempijja, said the revenue collections suffered from what he described as structural problem. He explained: “The economic environment is not attracting and retaining enough investment. This means that the tax base is not expanding because there are fewer players.” Read more
URA: Informal sector hurting revenue collections
The government should devise means of tapping into the informal sector to boost revenue collection, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General has said.Ms Doris Akol said the informal sector is demanding services from the government but it is not taxed to raise that money for the services. She cited the real estate development sector whose players do not have addresses yet billions of shillings exchange hands.“The informal sector shouts the loudest when there is break down in service delivery but they are not contributing in form of taxes,” Ms Akol said.She made the call recently when she led a team from URA to Daily Monitor offices in Namuwongo.Read more
URA recovers Shs25 billion from tax evaders
Uganda Revenue Authority enforcement department has collected about Shs25 billion in revenue from tax payers who were trying to evade their obligations, the head of enforcement team has said. While releasing the enforcement report at a news conference in Nakawa, Kampala, the assistant commissioner enforcement, Mr James Kisaale, said, smuggling is reducing although with technological advancement, electronic fraud is emerging as a new challenge.“Enforcement operations which led to 5635 seizures which yielded total revenue recovery of Shs25.2billion in both taxes and fines,” Mr Kisaale said.He continued: “These recoveries were made on goods worth Shs52 billion in value. Out of this, the total fraud value of the non-dutiable goods was Shs 8.7 billion and the total fraud value of the dutiable goods was Shs43, 314million.” Read more
URA impounds 20 luxury cars over unpaid taxes
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has recovered sh25b in taxes and fines in crackdown operations to close gaps and meet annual revenue targets.The tax body said that most of the money had been lost in smuggling, undervaluation, misdeclarations, concealment and other tax offences.It said the recoveries were made after intensified enforcement operations URA missed its revenue collection targets by sh475b. It had a target of sh8.5trillion. The target has increased to sh9.8 trillion.James Kisaale, the URA assistant commissioner for enforcement, said undervaluation tops the number of tax crimes, garnering the highest recoveries of sh9.9b. Misdeclaration brought in sh8.3b, smuggling sh3.1b, other offences sh3.4b and concealment sh470m.The revelation was made at a press conference by URA at its headquarters.Kisaale said ivory worth sh3b was recovered in the operations and is in the custody of the tax body.He revealed that, a total of 20 high-performance vehicles, with a total tax worth of sh370m, were impounded. Of these, 12 were Range Rover sport models; BMW’s, Mercedes Benzes and Audis. Read more
URA recovers Shs25b after intensifying enforcement
 Uganda Revenue Authority enforcement department has collected about Shs25 billion in revenue from tax payers who were trying to evade their obligations, the head of enforcement team has said. 
While releasing the enforcement report at a news conference in Nakawa, Kampala, the assistant commissioner enforcement, Mr James Kisaale, said smuggling is reducing although with technological advancement, electronic fraud is emerging as a new challenge.“Enforcement operations which we carried out led to 5635 seizures which yielded total revenue recovery of Shs25.2billion in both taxes and fines,” Mr Kisaale said. He continued: “These recoveries were made on goods worth Shs52 billion in value. Out of this, the total fraud value of the non-dutiable goods was Shs 8.7 billion and the total fraud value of the dutiable goods was Shs43, 314million.” Read more
URA busts mobile phone smuggling route
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has bust a route used by smugglers of mobile phones into Uganda and impounded mobile phones worth Shs34 million.The smugglers have been using the Mirama Hills shortcuts in Ntungamo District near Uganda-Rwanda border to ferry in mobile phones from Rwanda.Ms Sarah Banage, the URA spokesperson, said the Uganda-Rwanda border has not been known as a smuggling route for such items until their enforcement team followed up a tip off.“Rwanda charges lower taxes on mobile phones than Uganda which means their mobile phones, are cheaper than those in Uganda,” Ms Banage said.“Due to the porousness of Uganda-Rwanda border, smugglers bring into Uganda electronic gadgets including mobile phones bulk into their homes in districts of Ntungamo and Isingiro then transport few pieces to the market to avoid detection,” she added. Read more
URA says more Ugandans lost jobs, but revenues improved
At least 4,030 Ugandans lost their jobs as companies cut down their wage bill, the Uganda Revenue Authority has said.According to URA, an analysis of the top 300 taxpayers, both public and private organisations, shows that the number of employees reduced to 118,114 from 122,144. The tax body noted, saw a drop in the collections of the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) tax. All workers earning more than 235,000 are expected to remit PAYE."For instance, the termination of employment contracts for employees under some government agencies led to a revenue loss of Shs 3.6bn," Commissioner General Doris Akol told reporters at the URA headquarters in Nakawa. She was presenting the revenue performance. Read more
URA closes first quarter with Shs470m revenue shortfall
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has missed its revenue collection targets by Shs470 million, the tax body revenue quarter performance indicates.Releasing her maiden revenue performance results at the tax body’s headquarters in Kampala, the new Commissioner General, Ms Doris Akol said: “ URA has collected net revenue of Shs2.8 trillion, registering a performance rate of 99.98 per cent.” She continued: “This represents a growth of 15 per cent (translating into Shs388 billion) compared to the same period.”The deficit which translates into about Shs470 million is the lowest ever registered. The performance was boosted by impressive domestic collections which recorded 100 per cent performance. Read more
URACG: Kagina advises government to spend taxes on wealth creation
The outgoing Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Ms Allen Catherine Kagina, has advised government to spend the revenues collected by the tax body on economic sectors that create wealth and not in areas that are unproductive—consumption.According to Ms Kagina, compliance can easily be enhanced if the taxpayers are able to identify with tangible developments accrued from the share of their revenues.Speaking during the 8th Open Minds Forum, an engagement organised by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to discuss topical issues, Ms Kagina said investment done in productive economic sectors such as roads, power and developing systems will in the long run payoff and be the basis for not just stimulating growth but sustaining it as well. Read more
URA okays 12 more firms
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has accredited 12 more companies as Authorised Economic Operators (AEO). AEO is part of the broad modernisation reforms being undertaken by the Uganda Revenue Authority to promote compliance and enhance facilitation of international trade and the security of the international trade supply chain. Allen Kagina, the Commissioner General of URA said AEO is among the many modernisation reforms undertaken to improve service delivery and compliance in order to fulfill URA’s mandate. Kagina, who was on Monday handing over certificates to 12 companies enrolled under AEO, said these companies have been fully scrutinised and can now carry out their businesses with minimum supervision by URA staff.Read more
URA: Tax-Compliant firms get special treatment
Eleven companies have been chosen to receive preferential treatment when clearing their goods at customs, after they exhibited high levels of compliance in their tax obligations.Under the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) scheme, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) said, these companies will now enjoy fast clearance of their goods through simplified procedures and reduced inspection. The companies include General Machinery Ltd, Victoria Pumps Ltd, Victoria Motors Ltd, Victoria Engineering Ltd, Victoria Equipment Ltd, Bemuga Forwarders Ltd, and DHL International (U) Ltd. These join ten others chosen last year for the same treatment.This year, sixty-two companies had applied for the recognition, but URA said the rest are still being monitored before they can be granted AEO status Speaking to representatives of the successful companies at URA headquarters, Nakawa, Commissioner General Allen Kagina said: "We are celebrating compliance. The beginning was not so exciting 22 years [back]; the change is very obvious [now]." Read more
12 Top Companies to Enjoy Special URA Privileges
Uganda Revenue Authority has awarded two categories of certificates including the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) status to 12 companies which successfully completed the AEO authorization criteria, and Bonded Warehouse – Operator Managed status to 4 companies, marking the second phase of the program comprising Exporters and Warehouse keepers.The 12 companies who emerged successful out of 62 were Speedag Interfreight Ltd, General Machinery Ltd, Victoria Pumps Ltd, Victoria Motors Ltd, Victoria Engineering Ltd, Victoria Equipment Ltd, Rapid Kate Services (U) Ltd, Multilines International, Daks Courier Services, Union Logistics (U) Ltd, Bemuga Forwarders Ltd, DHL International (U) Ltd. And the 4 who gained the Bond warehouse Operator Managed status include Nice House of Plastics, Roofings Ltd, Toyota Uganda, and Steel and Tube Industries. Read more
URA re-opens Mateos, Nandos after Agreement
Uganda Revenue Authority has shut down two renowned food joints in Kampala today (Monday) afternoon over nonpayment of tax arrears. The closed joints are Mateos and Nandos, both located on Parliamentary Avenue.According to one of the workers who preferred anonymity, the tax body officers, together with Police and UPDF, swung into action at around mid-day and ordered workers and customers out before they closed the premises.“They told us to vacate the place because of tax arrears that the restaurant owes and that it could not be reopened until our bosses cleared with URA,” explained another worker as he pointed at a notice on one of the entrances at Nandos. Read more
URA: Tax proposals in Budget will be rigorously enforced, says govt
Numerous tax proposals and exemptions that were announced in the Budget speech will be enforced irrespective of civil society and business association leaders’ complaints, government officials have said. There are efforts underway to have some of the tax proposals, especially the one on agricultural inputs, fuel, water, computers and bank charges, suspended as discussion around it takes shape.Speaking at the Uganda Media Centre,the Uganda Revenue Authority acting commissioner domestic taxes, Mr John Mayanja, said: “In the region, we (Uganda) are yet to collect as much taxes as our neighbours and to do that, we must increase our tax base (sources of more revenue collection).”He continued: “This means that we have to do away with exemptions and have sectors like agriculture and education, among other sectors, to also contribute in terms of taxes. “This means that we will ensure that all areas that have been exempted or zero rated pay its taxes just like the other areas.” Read more
URA starts clearing global cargo through single customs system
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will start a pilot project of clearing of bulk international cargo through the Single Customs Territory (SCT).The SCT involves removal of internal border customs controls on goods moving between partner states with an ultimate realization of free circulation of goods.According to the URA commissioner customs, Mr Richard Kamajugo, the trial project will involve overseas cargo bound for Uganda through the port of Mombasa.“The bulk cargo on the list includes Clinker- a raw material used in the manufacturing of cement, edible oils and wheat grain,” Mr Kamajugo said.The revenue body says the project will last for about three weeks before all international containerised cargo is brought on board.Read more
URA: 10% tax on bank fees draws mixed response from players
Banks have started collecting the 10 per cent Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) excise taxes with charges on some huge withdrawals, ledger fees, bulk transactions and other periodic charges set to increase.During the Budget reading, Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka said the Excise Tariff Amendments mandates all banks to collect and remit 10 per cent fees, which will help URA collect a projected Shs22 billion.The 10 per cent tax on banking services which took effect in the new financial year is one of the initiatives that URA has deployed in an effort to plug the Budget deficit created by donor aid cuts.DFCU managing director Juma Kisaame said currently, banks are responding individually to the tax and it is upon a given bank to either increase charges such that the consumer bears the final cost or peg them on the banks which would then foot the bill on behalf of the customers, something he said is hard because banks are in business to make money. Read more
Motorcycle owners appeal to URA over quack dealers
OWNERS and operators of motorcycles have appealed to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to protect them from unscrupulous dealers who are fleecing them with fake log books and number plates.“We buy motorcycles from dealers without knowing that some of them are quacks and end up losing a lot of money,” said Living Bingi a Boda boda cyclist in Kagadi town.Bingi said that the motorcycle dealers do not mind about them so long as they make their profits and appealed to URA to screen those dealing in motorcycles and weed out the fake ones.Yuda Kisakye told the URA team that they buy motorcycles with number plates and are given log books but they are surprised to be told that they are not genuine number plates and even the log books are also forged. Read more
Tax holidays hurting URA performance, says Kagina
Tax holidays and exemptions have had a negative impact on revenue collections, Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner General Allen Kagina has said.Speaking at a news conference in Kampala where she enumerated the agency’s performance for the last decade, Ms Kagina said although the need for exemption was meant to enhance trade and investment, revenue collection became the victim in the process, explaining why the policy is now being reversed. She said: “The government has over time introduced different tax policies which impact on revenue collection. Although it had benefited some, we think without it our collection and contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio would have been much better.”According to her, the country has been providing tax incentives which were meant to mainly attract investments and support productive sectors to take off with the major exemptions residing in the VAT and income tax regimes to support construction, agriculture, health and education sectors. Read more
URA to collect tax on rented houses, properties
Uganda Revenue Authority has revealed that it will soon begin collecting tax on all rental houses and properties within urban areas as part of its new initiatives to generate more tax revenue to implement government programmes.The revelation came in Parliament while the URA commissioners were appearing before the finance committee to explain their plans for the new financial year.The committee chairman, Robert Kasule, who is also the Kyadondo North MP, asked the commissioners to assure the nation whether URA would be able to fill the gap created by the withdrawal of donor funds.Responding to Kasule and Kioga MP Anthony Okello on the new initiatives that will generate more revenue, URA’s commissioner for domestic revenue, Henry Saka, said they would enforce and widen the scope of rental taxation to include all urban centres in the country.On the percentage of rent which URA will take, Saka said: “We shall tax every property or house which is rented. If it is owned by an individual it will be taxed 20% and if it is a company, it will be 30%.” Read more
URA wins multimillion dollar Tullow Oil case
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has won multimillion dollar case in which it was sued by Tullow Oil, protesting payment of over US$ 472 million as income tax. Tullow Uganda Limited and Tullow operations PTY Ltd (applicants) filed an application before the Tax Appeals Tribunal challenging initial assessments of income tax of US$472,748,128((Shs1, 229,145,132,800) by the respondent (URA) in respect of a transfer of their interests in Exploration Areas EA1, EA2 and EA3 to CNOOC and Total for the consideration of US$ 2,933,330,400. The said assessments were eventually revised by URA to US$ 467,271,971 being capital gains tax. The applicants being aggrieved by the said assessments appealed to the Tribunal. Read more
URA To Issue Travel Ban for Tax Defaulters
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has introduced tough measures including travel bans against tax defaulters in a bid to enhance compliance and boost tax revenues in the new financial year. Having registered a shortfall of sh331b in the last financial year, URA released the Shame List naming 178 clients with a total liability of Shs25.8bn force them comply.In the Public Notice, defaulters were given only seven days to clear up their outstanding tax liabilities after all other engagements and reminders to them had not yielded success.Officials told Chimpreports that URA has now taken full enforcement steps including issuance of travel bans against persons that guaranteed the companies published in the notice.“This effectively bars one from travelling out of the country. URA under the existing Tax Laws is mandated to request Immigrations to bar any person from travelling out of the country before he or she fully pays the outstanding tax in full or provides a financial bond guaranteeing payment of the tax due or makes payment of tax in full. Read more
URA: Kenyan exports to Uganda to be cleared under SCT system
“All exports from Kenya to Uganda shall be cleared under SCT clearance procedures.Under SCT clearance procedures, customs declarations are made electronically and are processed and released by URA prior to loading of such goods for export from Kenya,” reads the public notice signed by the commissioner for customs URA, Mr Richard Kamajugo. Uganda Manufacturers Association advocacy and policy analyst Godfrey Ssali, said in an interview, that the manufacturers are backing the move to have goods cleared under the SCT. He said: “This is a move in a right direction. We hope that this initiative will further reduce dumping and smuggling and quicken movement of goods across the border and increase revenue collections for the country.” Read more
URA closes sports betting company
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has closed the head offices of Gaming International, a sports betting company, on Nalubwama Arcade over tax arrears. The arrears had accumulated to sh360m of which the directors only deposited sh100m and failed to adhere to the memorandum of understating with URA to meet the monthly payments. Abdu Salaam Waiswa, URA’s manager for debt collection, while closing the company said its directors have not been paying taxes despite several reminders and negotiations. He said tax arrears arose from income tax and Pay As You Earn deductions for the employees from the company’s 113 branches across the country.“We will take further action against this company, if they fail to respond in time. We have only closed its head in Kampala, but its branches also risk closure, if they do not respond in time,” Waiswa warned. URA also closed several companies belonging to city tycoon, Haji Habib Kajimu, with offices on Martin Road in Kampala for tax arrears worth sh360. Read more
URA: Uganda's 13% Gov't Revenues Lost in Fraudulent Trade Transactions
Uganda lost $2.443bn in form of tax revenues due to trade misinvoicing, thus hampering the country’s economic growth. According to a new report published by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington DC-based research and advocacy organization, “Tax revenue loss from trade misinvoicing potentially totalled US$2.43 billion, averaging US$243 million.” The loss roughly equalled 12.7 percent of Uganda’s total government revenue. Upon the release of the damning report, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) said on its Twitter handle that it is “establishing an International Taxation Unit with trained staff and requisite tools” to arrest the situation. While URA claims it has a “strategy to reduce on such revenue leakage” and that regulations have been passed too, an official agreed “the vice seems worse than we thought.” Read more
URA to track goods electronically
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will start the use of a new electronic tracking system that monitors goods imported to or transiting through Uganda from Mombasa port.The Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) device, it is said, will enable the importers get knowledge about the transiting of their goods, reduce on the transit time and also reduce the cost of doing business.According to Uganda Revenue Authority’s Commissioner Customs, Mr Richard Kamajugo, the system will see importers save up to $1.179 million (about Shs3 billion) per year.The system has an interface that enables cargo owners and agents know the status of their cargo and Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) deployed along the transit routes to respond to any alert from the system. Read more
URA cancels 2,000 VAT accounts
More than 1,000 dormant VAT registered tax persons have been scrapped off the revenue list after failing to comply with registration requirements, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) said .URA spokesperson Sarah Banage Birungi, who confirmed the development to the Daily Monitor, said that the action to cancel the 1070 persons off the VAT tax registers was done with a view to get rid of dormant tax payers people who are not transacting business.She said: “This is a normal administrative action to get rid of people who are bloating our register yet they are not active doing business.”She continued: “We do this routinely as a cleaning exercise. Most of those who have been deregistered have either been dormant or registered for a purpose of a one off deal/business and have since gone silent—not transacting business.” Read more
Uchumi denies not remitting taxes
Uchumi has dismissed allegations that it has been collecting Value Added Tax (VAT) on behalf of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and not remitting it.Speaking to the Daily Monitor, the Uchumi Supermarkets (U) Ltd country manager, Mr Jeff Nchaga, denies any non-compliance, saying the mentioned matter is not in any way related to Uchumi (U) Ltd.“Uchumi Supermarkets is law abiding and a tax compliant company that cannot dodge remitting VAT,” Mr Nchaga said.The Uganda Revenue Authority published a list of 901 firms, whose VAT registration was cancelled at the beginning of last month, saying they had been collecting the tax on its behalf and not remitting it to the tax body.URA also went ahead and warned the public against accepting VAT invoices from the published companies. Read more
URA to tax government at source
In the recent past, teachers and nurses have laid down tools demanding higher pay. Each time this happened, the Government was quick to point to lack of resources. However, it turns out that government departments have a lot to do with the lack of funds.When James Tweheyo, the general secretary of the Uganda National Teachers Union, led a nationwide teacher strike for a 20% pay rise, government ministries, departments and agencies were unlawfully holding sh131b in unpaid taxes.This represents 77% of all unpaid taxes and close to 1.3% of the total amount of taxes that the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is meant to collect for the national coffers.The Auditor General’s report notes that the amount of unpaid taxes by government departments was sh31b.The eventual sh131b was a result of 13 government ministries not remitting Value Added Taxes, Pay-As-You-Earn and Withholding tax. At the time, the National ID project alone, under the internal affairs ministries, was holding sh40b in unpaid taxes. Read more
URA: Uganda Tax Agency to Widen Net
 In a move aimed at growing the tax register and ultimately increasing the country's tax to GDP ratio, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) plans to cast its tax net further using its Tax Payer registration Expansion Project (TREP).A recent report by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) places the informal sector as the fastest growing sector in Uganda, accounting for 43.1% of Uganda's total economy.Additionally, there is a widening gap between the economic growth and the contributions to government revenue, as evidenced by our tax-to-GDP ratio that still stands at 12.7%, the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa whose average is 17%.The emergence of a dominant informal sector has been named as a major factor in this disparity. The informal sector refers to all economic activities and income derived that would otherwise escape government regulation, taxation or observation. It is mostly hidden and its operations unreported or unknown.During the reading of the national budget, the Maria Kiwanuka, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development proposed that in order to identify tax payers and collect taxes from small businesses that are usually hard to reach, URA should collaborate with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the local governments. Read more
URA: Electronic tracking of goods for May
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is in the final stages of piloting the electronic tracking of goods to streamline tax compliance.While addressing close to 200 clearing agents who were graduating after completing the East African Customs and Freight Forwarding Practicing Certificate (EACFFPC), URA Commissioner for customs, Richard Kamajugo said the new tracking system will be launched.“You will have access to the system and be able to track your goods. This means that the risks to your goods will even be reduced further,” he said.Kamajugo also revealed that the authority will embrace online application of agents. He said the training, aimed at professionalizing the industry, will change the face of clearing.
URA seizes 270 cartons of smuggled Chinese batteries
Uganda Revenue Authority law enforcement officers raided shops in Kikuubo and seized goods smuggled into the county. According to URA law enforcement officer Moses Oguttu, one wholesale shop owned by Ms Joan Kyomuhendo had the 273 cartons, each containing 100 dozens of China batteries.“We got intelligence reports that china batteries had been smuggled into the country through Mutukula boarder post with Tanzania. A follow up was done until this morning  when it was offloaded. We have got 273 cartons concealed in plain boxes but we believe many more are still hidden that is why the owner took off when we arrived,” Mr Oguttu said.Speaking to Kikuubo traders during the operation, Mr Oguttu said the batteries worth Shs70 million will be destroyed because they are prohibited on the local market. Read more
Car importers' strike won't Affect Revenue Collections - URA
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officials have said the recent slow down on the car importing business will not have a far-reaching impact in the revenue collection by the tax body. Car importers  closed down their warehouses and locked their offices in protest against the Pre-Export Verification (PVoC) program by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).They protested what they termed as 'unfair fees’ being charged by the three companies contracted by UNBS to test the quality of the cars before being shipped to Uganda.The companies are Japan East Africa Automobile, a Japanese firm, Kilimanjaro based in the United Arab Emirates and Javic; whose work is to test the road worthiness of cars imported in Uganda. Read more
URA: Government losing billions to money lenders
They earn huge sums of money by charging exorbitant interest rates on money loaned yet some don’t pay a single penny in form of income tax to Uganda Revenue Authority.These are money-lenders, whose operations have left many Ugandans desperate for quick loans in tears for being fleeced of their properties that are staked as collateral.Unlike the formal lending institutions like commercial banks that have strict rules and procedures to access loans that may include having a business plan, money-lenders do not ask for any of that.This is because they are most interested in the borrower’s assets which can either be movable or immovable property such as cars, buildings, land titles and laptops, among others, depending on the loan amount which must be staked to get the money. Read more
KCCA to unveil new bodaboda stages next week
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) will unveil new bodaboda stages in the city and a code of conduct for the cyclists.The move is the outcome of controversial city bodaboda registration exercise.“The registration exercise is being finalised and currently we are synchronising the results with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) before we can roll it out,” said Peter Kaujju, KCCA’s spokesperson. KCCA registered 60,000 bodaboda cyclists amid protests from cyclists who feared that the exercise was intended to throw them out of the city. Read more
URA records Shs246b revenue deficit
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has closed its accounts with a revenue shortfall of nearly Shs250 billion, mainly because of low consumption resulting from reduced economic activities. To beat the shortfall, which is more than 20 times the amount of money needed to get rid of counterfeit and substandard goods in the country, and nearly five times the amount of cash required to run the ministry of trade, the tax collectors will have to raise their collections target by at least 27 per cent.According to Ms Kagina, the deficit in international taxes of 26 billion and the Domestic taxes shortfall of 216billion, largely defined the kind of performance registered.Under domestic collections, Corporation tax registered a shortfall of Shs161billion, an indication that the population consumption has declined. Read more
Uganda Economy Posts "Worst Performance In Several Years" 
Economic experts are concerned over the slack in the general performance of the national economy over the last 6 months. This has been reflected in a major decline in revenue collections by Uganda Revenue Authority in the closed first half of Financial year 2013/2014.   URA Commissioner General Allen Kagina announced  that the revenue body had registered a shortfall of a staggering Shs242 billion in the half.   With taxes on international trade performing at 98.5 percent (26.43bn shortfall) and and domestic taxes at 91.15 percent (216.37bn shortfall), Kagina described the body's performance as the worst in several years.   Some of the underperforming sectors included financial institutions, manufacturing, transport, communication, real estate, electricity, water, renting and others. Read more 

Electronic systems boost tax compliance - report
A study has ranked Uganda as only second to Rwanda in East Africa, when it comes to making it easy for people to comply with tax obligations.The report by PricewaterhouseCoopers titled, Paying taxes: The global picture, compares tax systems in 189 economies worldwide. It points out that with the development of electronic systems, Ugandans take an average of 209 hours to comply with all their tax duties.Uganda Revenue Authority’s adoption of electronic systems put Uganda in the 98th position out of 189. Reforms in the payment of vehicle registration, e-stamp duty, electronic cargo tracking and e-cargo declaration, have eased tax compliance.Tax administration has also been boosted by the restructuring of the Kampala Capital City Authority and the Uganda Registration Services Bureau in online registering of businesses.Read more
Expert to Uganda: Change revenue collection model
Uganda will have to review its tax revenue model if it is to increase the number of taxpayers, a senior tax expert has advised.According to the Director of Institutional Development at The African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), Mr Lincoln Marais, Uganda and other African states should embrace revenue collection models that are not just easy to comprehend but also fair across the board.You must be transparent in your application. Provide taxpayers with all the necessary information related to tax matters. And you must ensure that paying taxes is made easy. And taxpayers must at all times know that as a tax body, you have the ability to enforce compliance.” Read more
  URA w
arns suppliers against unfair competition
UGANDA Revenue Authority (URA) has warned suppliers against manipulating the procurement process to defeat free and open competition.Addressing the URA Suppliers’ Integrity  Forum at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala on Friday, Michael Otonga, from the office of the Commissioner General said collusion by suppliers was depriving URA of benefits of free and open competition.Read more
URA leads East Africa in revenue collection
Improved collections in international trade taxes, coupled with compelling attempts to consolidate domestic tax revenues have seen Uganda Revenue Authority leapfrog its regional peers in resource mobilization, raising more taxes from both internal and external sources. URA commissioner for customs, Mr Richard Kamajugo, said monitoring and surveillance was heightened with a view to improve compliance, a move that has paid off. Read more