Ian Rumanyika, the Manager Public & Corporate Affairs at URA
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will effective July01, 2020 introduce the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) in Uganda.
In an exclusive interview with Business Focus on Wednesday June17, 2020, Ian Rumanyika, the Manager Public & Corporate Affairs at URA said the system is designed to improve business efficiencies and to further reduce the cost of compliance.
“Uganda has been the only EAC country that had not implemented this solution. This is one solution that we cannot afford to miss in the effort to formalize our economy and grow Our Tax effort to GDP as a country. In fact, Tax to GDP ratio is 13% below the desired 16% in the medium term, the lowest in the region.”
Read the full interview below on why all businesses should embrace this system.
Briefly tell me what the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) is all about?
The Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) is a government solution that shall be used by all businesses to manage the issuance of receipts and invoices for tax purposes in accordance with the Tax Procedures Code Act 2014.
Once a transaction is initiated using any of the solution components, transaction details are transmitted to URA in real time.
In addition, the solution supports record keeping, real time authentication of business transactions and shall aid URA in confirming the ACCURACY of the self-assessments which has been a pain in determining the actual tax positions and timely processing of tax refunds for clients.
The solution has the following key components;
- Electronic invoicing; A client generates e-invoices or receipts electronically and in real time without the use of paper-based invoices or receipts as tax originals. This supports; The e-invoicing component has the following options available,
- System-system integration for clients with existing sales systems. In this case, taxpayers shall continue to use same systems to issue e-receipts and e-invoices.
- The URA web portal – taxpayers may opt to use their accounts on the portal to issue e-receipts and e-invoices.
- The Client Application that can be downloaded from the URA web-portal and uploaded onto one’s computer for the issuance of e-receipts and e-invoices.
- Electronic fiscal devices (EFD). Use of an EFD authenticated by the Uganda Revenue Authority to issue e-receipts and e-invoices.
In addition, the component has a functionality to securely keep, store e-invoice or receipt information and generate summary reports of daily, weekly, monthly and annual transactions of a business entity.
- Electronic Dispenser Controller (EDC): Specific device designed to monitor pump Gas (Fuel).
Why is URA introducing the EFRIS system in Uganda? What does the tax body/government stand to benefit?
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is implementing the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) that is designed to address under-declaration of sales by taxpayers as a key challenge that directly impacts on revenue mobilization. Other challenges that impacts on revenue mobilization include; Fictitious claims resulting into false refunds and offset claims, a large and difficult to penetrate informal sector (for tax purpose)and poor record keeping.
This is one of the Domestic Revenue Mobilization Initiatives designed to address the above challenges to ensure that the taxpaying culture is transformed from unwilling to willing, identify potential tax payers, real time verification of transactional information to reduce tax gap.
What are the key benefits of this system to businesses? Why should the business community embrace it?
The system is designed to improve business efficiencies and rreduce the cost of compliance through; improved record keeping among taxpayers, ability to track and authenticate business transactions in real time for efficient business management and fast-tracking payment of refund claims using e-receipts or e-invoices given that the information shall be available in the system.
It will also help in elimination of the risk of physical loss of tax invoices as transactional data since copies are digitally stored in the system.
The system will further enable URA avail taxpayers with prefilled tax returns in future to minimize delays and costs involved in filling tax returns
The system takes effect on 1st July 2020. How is URA preparing the business community so that they don’t face challenges with it?
URA is already sensitizing the public; conducting trainings on the use of the solution and offering the desired support to enable clients fully appreciate the benefits of the system.
In conclusion, Uganda has been the only EAC country that had not implemented this solution. This is one solution that we cannot afford to miss in the effort to formalize our economy and grow Our Tax effort to GDP as a country.
In fact Tax to GDP ratio is 13% below the desired 16% in the medium term, the lowest in the region. We need to embrace such modern ways of business management. The trader has enormous benefits from this solution as mentioned above.