The commissioner Customs at Uganda Revenue Authority(URA), Dickson Kateshumbwa, has revealed that the tax authority has collected Shs 970 billion during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
He made the revelations at the e-conference on transformation of Uganda’s economy after Covid-19.
Kateshumbwa said it was not an easy task to collect the revenue during this period because many businesses are no longer operational.
“It has never been easy in the history of URA because in the last month of April, there was a decline in the revenue by about 50%. In the previous month of March when the lockdown started we were short by up-to 84%, “he said.
He said that URA suspended certain activities like audit because they were not able to reach clients during this period.
“But amidst all that, there are taxpayers who have continued to fulfill their obligations. We do appreciate. We collected Shs 970 billion in the lockdown. It’s quite a big effort,” he said.
He said many businesses have been greatly affected noting that the performance of exports on average for the last three months declined greatly.
He said that the revenues do not include the informal cross border trade that is not documented.
“Most of our communities along the borders do a lot trade and if you look at the impact of Covid-19, it is much bigger because people are not able to cross the border, “he said.
Kateshumbwa said URA is doing a number of things for the business community.
“We have also been trying to extend the housing period for the goods which are coming in. We are using this period to study data that we have and as we study the data, we recognize that some of our taxpayers have had some gaps. So we are reaching out to them,”he said.
He urged all the taxpayers who have not fulfilled their tax obligations to use this period and support the economy.