Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is to start conducting tax education programs together with the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA).
This new development was disclosed by Ag. Commissioner General Abel Kagumire while attending the annual KACITA dinner held at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala.
The development follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed between URA and KACITA early this year. In the MoU, the two entities agreed to partner in the areas of; tax education, taxpayer registration and supporting businesses with tax related business development advisory.
Speaking at the dinner, Kagumire expressed his enthusiasm saying tax education programs are better understood and welcomed when facilitated by fellow traders as opposed to URA officials.
He also lauded the traders for being compliant disclosing that the wholesale and retail sector contributed the most revenue among SMEs in the last quarter amounting to UGX 1.4 trillion.
Mr. Kagumire also used the platform to highlight the different initiatives URA has put in place to simplify tax payment and enhance compliance including, EFRIS, BWIMS, DTS, Alternative Dispute Resolution among others.
“We have brought the Bonded Warehouse Information Management system and it works. Through the system, we can now see what happens in the bonded warehouses. It has eased tax collection and I urge you to support it,” he explained.
He added that URA has extended an olive branch to evasive taxpayers to pay with zero interest on their penalties. The self-assessment period has also been increased from 12 months to 3 years.
The new developments were welcomed with applause by the traders who also raised concerns on the technology they are expected to grasp in a short period.
Muyomba Sam, the spokesperson for Kikuubo traders revealed that they are having a challenge of customers refusing to buy from those who cannot give e-receipts.
Mr. Kagumire in response, urged the traders to support EFRIS saying it will simplify tax payment and collection.
Meanwhile, the KACITA dinner is an annual event that is held to celebrate traders in Kampala. This year’s ceremony attracted different officials including Minister of finance Hon. Matia Kasaija who reechoed the need for compliance to lessen on the borrowing from external sources.
On the taxation in all EAC member states, the Minister advised that taxation varies in the different countries despite the integration.
Alongside tax collection, URA has purposed to become a business enabler and through partnerships with associations like KACITA, tax compliance is expected to improve immensely.