Taxman Goes Digital: URA Aims for Wider Net, Higher Revenue

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Taxman Goes Digital: URA Aims for Wider Net, Higher Revenue
Sarah Chellengat

The Ugandan Revenue Authority (URA) is revamping its tax collection system with a nationwide digitization and automation drive [1]. This tech upgrade aims to streamline tax collection, making it easier for both URA and taxpayers. Ultimately, URA hopes to cast a wider net and reach its ambitious domestic tax revenue target of 31 trillion shillings for the 2024/25 financial year.

Speaking at a tax breakfast meeting in Kampala, URA's Domestic Taxes Commissioner, Sarah Chelangat, emphasized the importance of voluntary tax compliance [1]. She encouraged Ugandans to declare their income accurately to avoid costly audits and penalties. "Come clean now," she urged, "because when we come for you, there won't be time for explanations."

The good news for taxpayers is that URA is rolling out several user-friendly solutions. These include the Electronic Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS), which allows for electronic filing and invoicing, making record-keeping a breeze. Manufacturers can benefit from the digital tax stamping system, while customs officials will utilize non-intrusive scanners at border posts to expedite inspections. Additionally, a new bond warehouse management system will streamline operations for businesses dealing with bonded goods.

These digital tools are expected to be a game-changer for URA. By automating processes and facilitating smoother taxpayer interaction, URA hopes to improve efficiency and increase tax collection across the country, including historically underserved areas like the eastern and northern regions, and all border crossings.

However, the success of this initiative hinges not just on technology, but also on a shift in taxpayer behavior. URA's call for voluntary compliance suggests they understand that a user-friendly system coupled with clear communication will be key to achieving their ambitious revenue target.

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