By Doris Akol
We recently concluded financial year 2018/2019 and this note is to say thank you for your compliance and continued support in meeting your tax obligations. Over the past year, through your compliance and our combined efforts, we mobilized and collected Shs16, 958.11 billion and saw revenue grow by 15 per cent in comparison to last financial year. This translates to an increase of Shs 2,298.35 billion shillings that has been added to the national treasury over the last year. I am confident that many will be proud of what the immense possibilities that our expanding revenue basket offer for our country’s continued upward growth trajectory.
At Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), we are proud that we have lifted our country’s tax to GDP ratio progressively from 12.8 per cent in 2014/15 to 15.1 per cent in the just concluded financial year. We are firmly on course to realizing the NDPII target of 16 per cent by financial year 2019/2020. We have also impacted both the continental and global tax agenda with our indelible mark of innovation and thought leadership in tax administration.
We appreciate the cooperation and productive networks we have built with our key strategic partners that have enabled us progressively widen our reach and impact. We appreciate the enthusiasm with which our taxpayer and tax education programs in the schools, universities, business communities and in all the regions have been attended. This motivates us to continue focusing energies and resources on providing information and support to not only improve compliance but also to grow and strengthen a taxpaying culture among existing and future taxpayers. We also applaud the banks and other tax payment channel providers that worked extra hours to enable our mutual clients comply within statutory deadlines.
In this financial year 2019/20, we will collectively mobilize and contribute Shs 20,344.13 billion to the national coffers. While the task ahead of us is monumental, it is not insurmountable because the economic fabric to generate this revenue exists. In addition to continually focusing on our current compliance improvement initiatives for individual income tax, rental income tax, local excise duty and VAT, our further focus will be in utilization of business intelligence, various system interfaces, forensic and science based interventions and third party information sources to identify eligible but hitherto non-compliant taxpayers. In a bid to support compliance but also improve on our service offering, going beyond revenue collection, we will also continue to offer tailor-made tax education resources, appropriate to various taxpayer segments, with specific emphasis on financial literacy and tax advisory. On the international trade front, our efforts will continue to be focused on deploying technological applications to secure our borders while facilitating trade at the lowest cost and minimal time.
The revenue mobilization effort and contribution to national treasury by those who are engaged in profitable economic activity is key in supporting government’s expenditure programs and priorities. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to be compliant with our tax obligations for this to happen. I urge you to continue playing your part diligently by complying with your taxes on time and in the right amount. We thank you for your business and we are available on our various channels and platforms to both support and when necessary, enforce your compliance, as we continue to Develop Uganda Together!
The writer is the Commissioner General of URA