Tax Revenue Efficiency: Strategies for Revenue Mobilisation and Utilisation
By: CPA Noor Nakabugo Nakato
The Commissioner General, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in her presentation delivered by CPA Dr. Protazio Begumisa the Commissioner in charge of Internal Audit and Compliance at the URA, said that achieving national strategic objectives requires sufficient revenue mobilization. Tax efficiency is measured by the parameters of net collections, government expenditure and gross national product. He indicated that government expenditure is growing faster than tax collections.
He said that URA has implemented some administration reforms which among others include; creation of a large taxpayers’ office with specialized units, creation of a high net worth individuals’ unit & a public sector office, simplification of laws and procedures, regular engagements with key stakeholders and improvement in customs.
The commissioner shared the challenges to tax efficiency which include dealing with sectors that are hard to tax, skilled tax planners and technical advancements among other things. He recommended collective effort by all of government on revenue collection, investment in data analytics and capacity building and exploitation of regional cooperation.
CPA Muhammed Ssempijja emphasized maximization of tax revenue while minimizing the cost of collection by reducing the tax administrative burden and minimizing the distortions in the economy caused by tax that may hinder economic growth. He suggested strategies to revenue mobilization which include creation of non tax based incentives, timely refunding of tax due to tax payers, abolishment of selective tax exemptions and reduction of tax rates. He added that budget allocation needs to be improved and stressed the importance of transparency and accountability.
To achieve desired revenue, CPA Ssempijja recommended an improvement in competitive environment to enhance balanced economic growth, improvement on quality of handling tax audits and other procedures by URA and focusing the budget process on the future and making it appropriate in view of Uganda’s revenue potential.