Rwenzori Tax Collection Improving- URA

2651 Views Kabarole, Uganda

In short
According to John Kiyaga, the Regional Manager Domestic taxes, URA collected Shillings 9 billion from districts in the Rwenzori region in the 2016/17 financial year. He however, says they collected Shillings 12 billion by May this year indicating a 26 percent increase.

There is tremendous improvement in tax payment in districts in the Rwenzori region, according to Uganda Revenue Authority-URA. These include Kasese, Kabarole, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Bunyagabu, Kyegegwa and Kyenjojo districts.


According to John Kiyaga, the Regional Manager Domestic taxes, URA collected Shillings 9 billion from districts in the Rwenzori region in the 2016/17 financial year. He however, says they collected Shillings 12 billion by May this year indicating a 26 percent increase.


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He attributes the increment in tax collections to the growth of the economy and increased sensitisation of the public about advantages of paying taxes. Despite the improved performance, Kiyaga decries tax evasion and smuggling, which he says denies government huge sums of money.

 
He says there is a lot of smuggling in the districts bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC, adding that they have deployed a team to crack down the perpetrators of the illicit trade.

 
On Monday, URA held a budget meeting at Kalya Courts hotel in Kabarole district with the stakeholders. Herbert Rusoke, the Acting URA Commissioner General, said the meeting was aimed at engaging residents and sensitising them on the benefits of the national budget and highlighting the activities of URA.



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During the meeting, some of the stakeholders led by Nicholas Businge raised concern about the 1 percent tax levy on mobile money transactions, saying it will suffocate those involved in the business.
 

"How can you charge Shillings 20,000 on a shilling 1 million transaction? It means that people will stop using mobile money and youths in the business will lose jobs," he said.
 

However, an official from the Finance Ministry told URN on condition of anonymity since he isn't permitted to speak to the media that they have written to the president seeking his permission to reduce the tax from 1 per cent to 0.3 per cent.



Robert Musinguzi, another tax payer asked URA to pardon them on the tax arrears of previous years, saying they were ignorant about the benefits of paying taxes. In his response, Rusoke said they don't have the mandate to waive taxes and urged residents to be law abiding and embrace tax payment.
 

 

About the author

Christopher Tusiime
Christopher Tusiime is the URN Bureau Chief in Tooro. Districts of Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Ntoroko, Bunyangabu and Kyegegwa, Kitagwenda and Fort Portal Tourism City fall under his docket.

Before joining URN, Tusiime first worked at The Observer newspaper for close to four years as an education reporter.