URA Boss Musinguzi assures nation of raising Shs29.7 Trillion Revenue Target 

By Our business Reporters

After budget day reading where Minister of Finance ,Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija unveiled a uU.Shs. 52.7 Trillion national budget , the man who is tasked with raising domestic revenues to finance part of that budget , the Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), John R. Musinguzi has assured the nation that they will meet their target and collect Ug.Shs29.7 trillion in taxes for the Financial Year 2023/24.

Musinguzi was making a presentation at a post- budget stakeholder engagement held at Hotel Africana under the theme “Full Monetisation of Uganda’s Economy through Commercial Agriculture, Industrialisation, Expanding & Broadening Services, Digital Transformation and Market Access.

Musinguzi said the national budget for FY 2023/24 presented the citizens with the opportunity to contribute Shs29.7 Trillion which is about 56% of the national budget to finance the delivery of public services . In the financial year ending just about Shs25.5 Trillion, has been collected .

“The task at URA is to bring in more contributors to the tax bracket so that we can distribute the tax burden across a bigger section of our community,” Musinguzi stated adding that URA has managed to increased the number of taxpayers from 1.7 million to 3.2 million todate.

URA now has a projected target to increase the tax base to nine million taxpayers out of a population of 45 million people. tax experts have welcomed these efforts noting that such strategies will help URA to move away from deepening taxes (taxing a small section of the population- by continuously raising the tax burden on them ) and instead widen the tax base by bringing many more people in the tax bracket .

Musinguzi further stated in his presentation thus :“In terms of Tax To GDP, we are at about 13.5%. But with this projected numbers of Ugx 29.7 Trillion, we shall be at about 14.6%. Even that would be below the Sub-Saharan Africa average at 16% and further below the average necessary for real growth,18%,” Musinguzi said, adding that in the last three financial years, revenue has grown between 12% and 15%.

“In absolute numbers, it has been about Shs2.5 Trillion. We are expected to grow our domestic revenue by Shs 4.2 Trillion. Looking at the support and the sacrifice that taxpayers have been making over the years, we are confident of raising up to this high jump.,”

URA is also embracing technology to ensure compliance by taxpayers.

“We have introduced the USSD code that can be used to access URA services on the go. The code is *285# and it can be used on any mobile handset. Smart or not; all you need is to have money on your mobile money wallet,” he explained .

The URA boss also promised that his oraginisation will not harass taxpayers .

“We won’t deviate from the law and our mandate but we would like to use those alternatives only when we must. Let us meet halfway on compliance,” he said, adding: “We want you to hold us accountable on the three core value of Professionalism, Integrity and Patriotism. Where you see any of us lacking in any of the three, please call us out and we shall duly improve. Refuse anything unprofessional and corrupt.”

Musinguzi called upon the business community to utilise gthe new URA system – EFRIS that was set up to help taxpayers minimize contact with URA staff and tghus reduce corruption but also helps to ensure efficiency in record keeping and tax reconciliation.

Editor: msserwanga@gmail.com

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