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Ministers say it pays to pay tax as URA Taxpayers’ Week kicks off

Ministers Okurut (left) and Kasaija (right) prepare to cut a ribbon to officially launch the TPAW at Kololo Independence Grounds on Sept.27. PHOTOS Julius Businge

Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | Two government ministers, Matia Kasaija – Finance and Mary Karooro Okurut – General Duties, have called on taxpayers to willfully meet their tax obligations to enable government offer services without hurdles.

The ministers were speaking at the opening of the three day Taxpayers Appreciation Week (TPAW) at Kololo Independence Grounds on Monday Sept.27.

Kasaija said that the TPAW shows that government is working and not cheating taxpayers.

“We are here to show the public who pay taxes painfully that their money is not put to waste,” Kasaija said, “When we ask you to pay, pay willfully,” he added.

Kasaija added: “We are upbeat on reducing the cost of doing business for your businesses to make legitimate profits so you pay more taxes.”

He said government is investing heavily in roads, electricity and other modes of transport like the Standard Gauge Railway to bring down the cost of doing business.

Meanwhile, Okurut who represented President Yoweri Museveni said government is committed to fighting corruption and maintaining peace and stability for businesses to thrive so that URA can collect more taxes and fund public projects.

Kasaija and Okurut shown some of the work of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF).

“This (TPAW) is a demonstration of accountability and enforcement to taxpayers,” she said.

Doris Akol, the commissioner general of URA said they are investing heavily in technology and other capacity to deal with multinational corporations that dodge taxes through transfer pricing and other methods. “URA is committed to collecting funds that will deliver Uganda to middle income status,” Akol said.

All government agencies and departments are on the ground to offer services at no cost – legal aid, tax advisory, blood donation and related health, land registration and motor vehicle inquiry services and more.

The event ends on Friday with a dinner for rewarding 12 most compliant taxpayers for the FY2016/2017.

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