URA: Govt Is Worst Tax Defaulter

2218 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
URA Commissioner General Doris Akol says the authority has over the years faced challenges in collection of withholding tax from government entities, which forces the tax body to recover its monies from district and government accounts.

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has mentioned the central and local governments among defaulters on tax remittances.

Commissioner General Doris Akol says the Authority has over the years faced challenges in collection of withholding tax from government entities, which forces URA to recover its monies from district and government accounts.
 
Akol, while speaking at the closure of the five-day government retreat to review performance for the 2015/2016 financial year in Kampala today, noted that failure by government to remit taxes paints a bad picture to the private sector. She says if government wants to implement its "Kisanja Hakuna Muchezo" campaign, it should be tax compliant.
 
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In the 2016/2017 financial year, URA's domestic revenue collection target is estimated at 13 trillion shillings. 

However, Akol says most of the local governments are in debt in payment of withholding tax accrued from procurement deals, salaries of employees and tenders, among others.
 
However, some local government leaders note that due to the low revenues collected by local governments, some of the money is utilised for other priorities. 
Ian Kyeyune, Wakiso Resident District Commissioner (RDC) suggests that local governments are allowed to retain a percentage of revenue collections in districts to fund their budgets to avoid issues of non-remittances.
 
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During the conference, Keith Muhakanizi, Secretary to treasury, criticised the local governments for inefficiency, noting that several local leaders fail to utilise monies for development projects. He warns that the money will be returned to government.
 
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Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija, while responding to questions on government's decentralisation policy, explained that apart from the appointment of Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) which was reversed, release of funds has been decentralised to allow efficiency.
 
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About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.