By Moses Oketayot
The URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi has said that the tax man needs to collect UGX5.9t in the next two months ending June 30th in order to realize the UGX22t that was set for it by the Ministry of Finance for the current financial year FY2021/22.
Musinguzi made these remarks during while delivering the revenue performance report for the period July-March for FY2021/22 from the authority’s headquarters in Nakawa on Tuesday.
Asked whether this will be achievable given the short period of time left to hit the target, he had this to say: “We are working with optimism that we can close this financial year successfully. It is possible if we can maintain this momentum and recover from the deficit of the last eight months in the remaining two months of May and June, yes we will achieve the target.”
On the issue of the country being able to reduce external borrowing and donor funding to finance the national budget, Musinguzi said that it is possible as per the vision of the Authority as he added on what URA is doing to achieve that in the near future: “We have set out a long medium and long term plan and we should be able to achieve this in the next five to eight years.” He further added that achieving economic independence is not only the duty of URA but a national whereby all the stakeholders need to be fully involved.
The Commissioner General (Middle) in a group photo with other Commissioners after the revenue performance press briefing on Tuesday
Countries are now more inward looking to service their budget instead of external borrowing. So the Ugandan solution must come from Uganda, and this is why as the revenue administration body we are focusing on expanding the tax payers register. We strongly believe that a lot of eligible Ugandans are not yet on our tax register, and we are going out full throttle with a focus to expand our tax register,” he said.
He called on to journalists to spread the message of revenue mobilization so that the country can be economically independent. The Authority has 2.3 million tax payers on it tax registry, but they are looking to grow it to 5 million in the next two to three years with a target of adding 800 new tax payers on the registry in the current finance year.
Overall Revenue Performance
During the period July to March, the actual net revenue collections were UGX15.4t representing 69.16% of the annual target. A significant growth in revenue of UGX1.5t (10.66%) was registered in July to March FY 2021/22 compared to the same period in the FY 2020/21.
However, the outturn for the period was short of the target of UGX 16,532.43 billion by UGX1.
Domestic Revenue Performance
The Domestic revenue collections in the first nine months of the FY 2021/22 were UGX9.4t against a target of UGX10.6t registering a growth of UGX 816.22b (9.42%) as compared to the same period in FY 2020/21.However, the collections were below the target by UGX1.2t.
International Trade Tax Revenue Performance
On a positive note, there was surplus on international trade tax collections for the period July to March 2022 were UGX 6.2t against a target of UGX 6.1t, posting a surplus of UGX 64.49 billion, and a performance of 101.04%. Customs tax collections grew by UGX 686.82 billion (12.33%) in July to March of FY 2021/22, in comparison to the same period last year. The performance was mainly attributed to growth in vatable goods by 13.78%(UGX 1,432.55 billion) in period July to March 2022 compared to the same period last year. And increase in fuel volumes by 1.05%(17.49 million litres) compared to July to March 2021. This was due to the increase in petrol imports by 0.5%(3.89 million litres), jet fuel by 53.80%(31.73 million litres), and Kerosene by 33.20%(10.53 million litres).
Abel Kagumire, the Commissioner Customs also said that the Uganda is feeling the impact of the Ukraine-Russia war, whereby he said that before the war Uganda would have four vessels of fuel coming through the port of Mombasa in three months, but now there is only one vessel coming through in the same period which explains the pump price for fuel, which in turn is affecting the prices of other commodities and services since fuel drives the economy.