The ‘Black Monday Movement’ is demanding that government recovers money from companies and individuals who are evading tax instead of imposing regressive tax on the common man.
The activists say government can recover a quarter of the Shs13trillion Budget if it puts effort into collecting money lost to tax evaders. According to research undertaken by the group, it is estimated that Shs1,331billion is lost through various types of tax leakages, including tax credits, tax incentives and tax evasion.
The Black Monday activists note that the budget proposal for FY 2014/2015 is yet again almost quiet on taxing highest incomes. Instead of developing a fair tax regime, the government is funding the new 2014/2015 budget by imposing new taxes that hit the poorest the hardest, Julius Kapwepwe, the Director Programmes Uganda Debt Network says.
At a press conference today Kapwepwe urged government to set up an effective tax administration and a policy framework that ensures fair taxation of all citizens. Kapwepe notes that this is crucial in the quest to eradicate poverty and transforming the nation into a middle income country.
As of June this year the Uganda Revenue Authority is demanding for Shs80billion from 178 companies that evaded tax. These among others include the government’s own printing shop, Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation who owe Shs2billion, Rio Holding International Shs5billion, Johnson Wright Charles, Ugx 1.1billion and Alert Investments Shs3.3billion.
Arthur Larok, the Executive Director Action Aid Uganda says before government imposes new taxes; it should collect and spend the available money effectively.
The Black Monday activists propose that government ensures transparent and accountable use of public revenue so citizens get value for their tax money. This, Kipwepwe says will lead to Ugandans paying their tax with pride when theft is eliminated, revenue spent well and taxation policy is fair.
The Black Movement activists also urge Ugandans to pay their taxes while ensuring they engage in monitoring the process of tax administration and governance towards effective service delivery and bringing corruption to an end.