By Ian Rumanyika
As President Yoweri Museveni said when he was opening the 22 storied URA Tower over the weekend, our (URA) main mission is to facilitate business and assist the economy to grow. The tower is that facility that will enable the Tax administrators easily achieve that.
Under the URA Tower, we have pooled together specialized services to offer timely and quality services.
A case in point is that we have the Tax investigators, tax auditors, valuation experts, litigators, debt collectors, IT experts, policy and business analysts etc in one place.
We have done magic of innovations while decentralized in the past; now imagine the wonders we are going to do for the taxpayer with these experts under one roof.
For the 1st time, we have full integration of the back office service to support the self service business model of e-transactions, under one roof, while maintaining only tax payers’ service centres in the Central Business District (CBD).
It is without a doubt that the Tax collector will offer faster and better services to clients resulting from process integration while reducing administrative costs by over 40%.
This is something all Government institutions should benchmark on.
Taxpayers will be able to access all services in one location, at the state-of- the art service centre. These include registration, free Tax advisory services on direct & indirect tax, imports/exports clearance, installment payment, faster Tax refunds etc.
Overall this business model will reduce compliance costs and increase voluntary compliance.
In the 1st month of moving to the URA Tower, we have registered improvement in Taxpayer and staff engagement, coordination of service delivery, Enterprise resource management, bandwidth, efficient fleet management, security, improved teamwork, centralised analytics in URA reports and quick decision making.
This is the kind of efficiency you want any revenue authority to have.
The convergence of staff at Nakawa HQs building is expected to reduce the cost of doing business for taxpayers through provision of one-stop-service-centre besides the Shs7bn savings on rent, savings on transport, ICT connectivity, security and courier services for URA among others.
And of course as mentioned by many, the tallest building will improve the URA corporate image in Africa. URA has been the only administration body in the EAC region without a befitting headquarters building. Let us embrace development in our Country. Not forgetting that this building was fully funded by the taxpayer. As a Taxpayer I am proud of the steps we are taking.
Developing Uganda Together.
The author is the Manager Public & Corporate Affairs at URA