Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has committed to continue supporting different businesses to recover from the pandemic to enable them to pay taxes willingly.
This was revealed as the tax body kicked off the third edition of the ‘e-bomba ya business’ summits with discussions on survival of businesses in the wake of the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
The month-long virtual engagements are aimed at tipping business owners on financial growth and fostering voluntary compliance and these have been incorporated with skills to help businesses thrive in the new normal.
Speaking to The Nile Post, URA Commissioner Customs, Abel Kagumire explained that the majority of the businesses which were a big source of revenue for the government have been greatly hit by the effects on trade by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said this has affected tax collections, pointing out sectors like education, food services and accommodation and arts and recreations as those that have been grossly affected in this era.
For instance, collections from the food service and accommodation declined by 37% especially because the sector is driven by tourists who were locked up in their respective countries.
Kagumire however said that the revenue body is hopeful of a change in the sector collections because of the vaccines that are making travels much safer.
He said unlike the past where the tax burden was carried by a few entities, the authority is to embark on expanding the tax register so that the businesses recovering from the pandemic effects are not overwhelmed.
“URA has embarked on expanding the taxpayer register because we know that there are many Ugandans out there, in profiting businesses but are not paying taxes. We intend to do this with comprehensive tax education so that everyone contributes to the betterment of this country,” said Kagumire.
The managing director Centenary Bank, Fabian Kasi said with the help of the regulators, they were able to give their customers new loan repayment schedules.
Ruth Biyinzika, from the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) advised business owners that it’s very important for them to have personal financial management and evaluation, adding that this is the time for a business owner not to compete in expenditure but to be innovative in their businesses.
The ‘e-bomba ya business’ summits will run in series on Fridays up to November 12 2021.
The first episode of the summits focused on survival through the pandemic with deep conversations on business financing and alternative skills adoption by sectors grossly affected by the Covid-19.