The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has said that digital interventions will help the Authority collect revenue better and achieve the next financial year’s target with much ease.
The comments were made by URA’s Asst. Commissioner of Public and Corporate Affairs Ibrahim Bbosa while appearing on NBS TV on Thursday.
He said URA is now using a lot of technological solutions to make the Authority more efficient in “our operations as well as being equitable with clients.”
“There are interventions we are making that we feel will enable us to collect taxes better, more effectively and conveniently,” Bbosa said.
“People should not be hassled, these digital solutions are for harmonious working relationships with taxpayers. That is why we believe we shall be able to achieve next year’s target,” he added.
Bbosa said that the Authority has been reinventing itself in the way they do things, from modern tax collection means to modern methods of tax education.
Over the past five years, URA has implemented various digital tax solutions, including Digital tax stamps (DTS), Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS), and Rental Tax (currently in the piloting stage).
Digital tax stamps, introduced in 2019, initially covered selected goods such as mineral water, soda, cigarettes, tobacco products, spirits, beer, and wine. However, the government has since expanded the list to include goods like sugar, cement, and cooking oil, with plans to include products such as fruit and vegetable juices, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and other fermented goods in the near future.
To enforce compliance, the government has implemented stricter measures and increased penalties for dealing in unstamped gazetted products from Shs30m to Shs100m.
According to Mr Keefa Kiwanuka, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, this amendment seeks to recover any tax losses resulting from tampering with digital tax stamps.
Mr Bbosa emphasised that digital tax stamps were introduced to promote fair competition, protect consumers from harmful products, increase tax revenue, and combat illegal, substandard, or counterfeit goods.
“Despite the growth in number of taxpayers compiling to DTS, there is still a need for continuous tax education on DTS.
URA currently has ongoing country-wide enforcement operations on manufacturers who are still in possession of unstamped gazetted products.
URA is expected to raise more than UGX 15 billion and additional taxpayers to the register from the exercise, this is attributed to initiatives like DTS