Business

URA Launches Activities to Mark 25 Years of Service

Ugand Revenue Authority Commissioner General Doris Akol
unveils the Silver Jubilee logo on Tuesday as other URA staff look on

Uganda Revenue Authority has Tuesday launched activities to commemorate its Silver jubilee anniversary which will be marked on September 15 this year.

Created in 1991, see http://damnyouautocorrect.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-recaptcha/mailhide.php URA is mandated to collect revenue on behalf of government as well as facilitate trade.

Its establishment was also aimed at tackling the bureaucracy, high domestic tax rates and extensive discretionary powers previously borne by the Finance Ministry.

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Addressing the press at the tax body’s Nakawa headquarters on Tuesday, the URA Commissioner General Doris Akol mentioned several tax policy reforms that have been made over the last 25 years.

The net revenue has grown significantly from Ugx 180 billion back in 1991/92 to Ugx 11 trillion in the 2015/16 financial year.

Akol also said that the tax to GDP ratio has also grown from 6.97 percent in 1991/92 to 12.87 percent in 2015/16 with a target of 16 percent by 2020.

“Over the years, URA has transformed into a client-centric organization that is highly automated with a lot of self service products.  90 percent of our processes have been automated resulting into transparency,” she told journalists.

Another key milestone she said was the transition by the Authority from the manual systems that dominated its operations in the 1990s to electronic transactions.

Currently, tax collection is done through banking, internet, mobile money platforms and financial intermediaries like PayWay.

On a regional level, the introduction of the Single Customs Territory (SCT) reduced clearance time for goods from 18 days to between 4 and 6 days from Mombasa to Malaba/Busia.

The silver jubilee celebrations will be characterized by a series of activities among them; a 30 day appreciation campaign to loyal Medium taxpayers, a thanksgiving ceremony, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities across Uganda and an open house public exhibition.

On September 23, URA will host large taxpayers to a cocktail followed by a grand award ceremony to recognize selected taxpayers on September 30.

While the Authority boasts of numerous milestones, the commissioner general said it continues to grapple with challenges like inadequate funding, low compliance, a big informal sector, smugglers and adaptation to technological innovations by its clients.

 

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