Digitize and go cashless, URA advises as they employ intelligence networks to avert illicit trade

The two-day conference was organized by Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development together with Digi tax Research Programme of the International Centre for Tax and Development, and started on 14th December, 2022.

Dec 22, 2022 - 22:56
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Digitize and go cashless, URA advises as they employ intelligence networks to avert illicit trade
Digitize and go cashless, URA advises as they employ intelligence networks to avert illicit trade

KAMPALA - URA has urged financial sector players and government to digitize processes and reduce on the cash economy as a way of promoting holistic development for the sector. This, the URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi, said during the Ministry of finance tax research conference that was held at Kampala Sheraton hotel, centered on reshaping the tax system to support the financial sector development strategy.

“Digitalization of the financial sector has eased work for URA because it provides a wealth of business data that gives insights on incomes and persons eligible to pay taxes, thus facilitating a conducive taxation environment,” noted Musinguzi.

CG also called upon the regulators and key players to willingly share data that will fast-track taxpayer compliance and positively impact on financial inclusivity for the benefit of Uganda.

The two-day conference was organized by Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development together with Digi tax Research Programme of the International Centre for Tax and Development, and started on 14th December, 2022.

Key focus was placed on developing a financial sector development strategy and the taxation of savings and investments.

Moses Kaggwa, Director Economic Affairs at MoFPED added that Financial Sector Development Strategy is a key resource towards shaping Uganda’s transformational Vision 2040 that will move the country to a modern and prosperous country with sustained financial economic growth.

Uganda looks to growing savings in financial institutions to 35% of the GDP by 2040 from 14.5% in 2010. If achieved, this will bring in a significant amount of revenue through increased access to financial services and long-term finance, and strengthening innovation, financial markets, infrastructure and stability to facilitate development.

In terms of revenue collection, the financial sector is the third most significant sector that contributed UGX 549.11 billion, making it 9.01% of the total collections in the first quarter of this FY 2022/23.

The formal financial sector is comprised of the banking sub sector, microfinance institutions, non-bank financial service providers and development finance institutions, whereas the informal players include informal savings associations, unlicensed money lenders, and informal forex traders.

Victoria Sekitoleko of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), urged key sector players to focus on how to tax the agribusiness. She advised them to also engage the key stakeholders in agriculture in order to listen and pick lessons that shape their perception towards tax reforms and financial sector development.

Meanwhile, one of key strategies URA is relying on to radically scale down on illicit trade is field intelligence enforcement operations. Accordingly, the customs team in Iganga received information from intelligence networks deployed of a fuso truck registration number UAV 799U that had loaded smuggled garments heading to Kampala.

The team responded by deploying on Mbale – Tirinyi road and in the outskirts of neighboring districts to ensure that these smugglers do not escape. This worked because the smugglers where shocked to see the URA pickup before they could set off.

As usual, the drivers are quick to take off to avoid further interrogations and penalties involved.

The truck was driven to the URA office in Iganga and upon verification, the report revealed the following;

4,222 pieces of assorted polyester dresses for Kids/girls/ladies
3,889 pieces of assorted kid’s polyester t-shirts
636 pieces of assorted polyester 2-piece sets (tops and trousers)
582 pieces of assorted polyester Jackets
334 pieces of assorted polyester trousers for children/ladies
304 pieces of assorted polyester tops
242 pieces of assorted polyester 3-piece sets (top, vest and trouser/skirt)
240 pieces of kids Jean trousers
228 pieces of assorted polyester sweat pants for girls/ladies
161 pieces of assorted polyester skirts for children/ladies
152 pieces of assorted polyester Jump suits for teen girls/ladies
118 pieces of Poncho sweaters for ladies
56 pieces of kids Jean shorts
15 pieces of kid’s poly-cotton shirts
3 bales x 20 pieces of plain polyester material
945 kilograms of used clothes

Source: https://thetaxman.ura.go.ug/

John Kusolo John Kusolo, a Ugandan Journalist, Sport fanatic, Tourist, Pastor, and Motivational Speaker. I am passionate about my work. Because I love what I do, I have a steady source of motivation that drives me to do my best. I am ambitious and driven. I thrive on challenge and constantly set goals for myself, so I have something to strive toward. Socials: John Kusolo on facebook and Twitter.