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URA CG Challenges Customs To Tackle 4 Areas To Hit Revenue Collection Target

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General, John Musinguzi Rujoki, has challenged Customs Department to tackle four areas in a bid to collect 100% taxes in the 2021/22 Financial Year.

The areas, he said are, collaborated compliance approach, stakeholder engagements, tax payers’ education and integrity.

Musinguzi explained each of these areas as: “URA is one organization, there is no need of always identifying with particular department especially when serving clients. Joint Audits and Enforcement strategies must continue and should be improved. 360 compliance check for Clearing Agents and Withholding tax exemption applicants must also be emphasized. Stakeholder Engagements; Customs collected approximately 600bn in June through stakeholder engagements especially with fuel dealers. We need to extend these engagements to all our top and middle taxpayers up to when we can reach the gross root taxpayers. Tax payers’ education: one of the biggest problem is information gap between our taxpayers and URA. This is the gap the conmen and brokers are using to frisk taxpayers’ money while tarnishing URA’s reputation at the same time losing the tax revenue. Utilize all the channels available to reach out to taxpayers. Integrity; lastly, as leaders I expect you to lead by example and not cover up any wrong doing. Direct staff under you to doing the right thing at whatever cost, it is not proper that staff under you lose jobs as you watch. I leave you with a word God, Luke 17:1-3 that says.”

As Customs Leaders, he said, “I challenge you to walk the talk of the new strategic direction and discussions here. Equally important, let us aggressively pursue the following our Strategies that are cascaded from the DRMs; Exports Promotion: We need to support our local industries to export. As Customs we have that are 3 areas to focus on in this aspect; facilitating cheap production (duty remission, MUBs, industrial parks, free zones etc.), ensuring right export declarations are made (to stop VAT and refund fraud) and protecting the local industries from superior products imported. Cargo Management; As the BWIMS project is developing, let us use the available systems to efficiently manage cargo right from the ports to when their entered for home consumption. We have been found wanting in many aspects in this area, especially in Bonded Warehouses. Our country is losing revenue in this area not mentioning our colleagues losing jobs. Corruption is like ripe bananas; everyone can smell them from a distance. The ripe bananas in our case are discretionary powers and unclear manual processes.”

The CG recognized the efforts the department put in to collect Shs7.4 trillion performing at 93% in the last Financial Year.

“This was not a bad performance given the economic times we are operating in. This should be a stepping stone for us to perform even better in this FY year,” he said, adding, “I would like identify with the Customs theme this FY of “Efficient and Accountable service with integrity”. Given the evolving role of customs in the modern world, Efficiency and accountability are unmissable Pillars, what holds these pillars together is the pillar of integrity.”

This FY, he says, Customs is collecting 8.2 Trillion.

“The target was set keeping in mind the economic times, the tax policies and our capacity. I expect this year’s performance to be 100%. I wish to resonate Martin Van Buren’s statement,” he explained.

He added: “It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.”

“We shall not afford finding reasons for not meeting the target this FY. Our Tax to GDP ratio by 1% at 12.99%, we need grow this to 18% to match the sub-Saharan average. We have all it takes to achieve this Let us rally our staff as leaders to consistently pursue our revenue mobilization strategies while standing by our new Vision, Mission and Values,” he said.

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