Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | President Yoweri Museveni is expected to attend this year’s Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) taxpayer’s appreciation week taking place from Sept. 27-29 at Kololo Independence Grounds.
The 12th event is open for the general public. This time around, beyond URA sharing taxpayer information, other government ministries and agencies are on the programme to share detailed information regarding their role in service delivery.
Speaking to journalists at URA headquarters in Kampala Sept. 08, Vincent Seruma, the assistant commissioner for public and corporate affairs said that the event will feature top government officials who would explain key issues of national development in all sectors – education, agriculture, health and environment, land, energy and mineral development, infrastructure, information technology among others.
In addition, Seruma said there will be free legal aid services, tax advisory services, blood donation and related health campaigns, land registration and motor vehicle inquiry services and more.
The event will serve as forum for demanding accountability from government by the public on matters tax.
“There is hunger and thirsty for this information,” Seruma said. He added: “It (the event) must be big; it must be successful.”
The event comes at a time experts are continuing to challenge the tax body to increase the tax base from the current slightly over 1 million taxpayers so as to increase revenue collection and lessen the burden of tax exerted on the perennial few taxpayers.
In fact, Ian Rumanyika, the manager for public and corporate affairs in the Commissioner General’s office said 95% of taxpayers in URA books are willing to pay tax but the tax body uses 75% of its administration budget as cost to run after the 5% that lack the will to meet their tax obligation.
It is hoped that events like the taxpayer’s administration week and others would engage noncompliant taxpayers so they can cooperate and meet their obligation without a push.
“URA is driving this but the intention is bigger,” Seruma said. “We can move along with Ugandans in the process of paying tax and how it is used.”