“We project revenue of sh420b by the FY 2018/19 and 412,044 new clients on our tax register."
As Uganda's ambitions grow in line with the Vision 2040 master plan to attain lower middle status by 2020, considerable pressure has been placed on the shoulders of the tax man to collect ever larger sums of money to finance large infrastructure projects.
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has added 134,332 names in the Kampala area to the tax register through the multi-institutional Taxpayer Register Expansion Project (TREP).
The project aims at cutting back on informal business by easing the process of going formal.
Hitherto, the national register had just 785,000 names supporting a population that is well over 36 million people.
Since the start of the FY 2015/16, URA has been working closely with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and local governments to identify taxpayers and collect taxes from small businesses which are hard to reach by URA.
Speaking at a briefing at the Africana Hotel, Doris Akol, the URA top boss, noted that the new tax payers had placed sh47.6b into the exchequer to fund projects since the start of the 2015/16 financial year.
"We project revenue of sh420b by the FY 2018/19 and 412,044 new clients on our tax register," Akol said. She explained that URA will collect sh139.2b, KCCA sh67.4b, local government sh202.9b and URSB sh10.8b toward the projected total revenue.
She noted that mobile business registration service points have been set up around the country which has reduced time taken to formalize business from a month to hours.
There are 9 One Stop Shops (OSS) around the country with 5 of these spread out within all 5 KCCA divisions. Five more OSS points are planned in September in the greater Kampala Areas of Nansana, Entebbe, Makindye Ssabagabo and Kira.
A further 34 OSS points are planned for all urban municipal councils this financial year to facilitate business owners that are operating in upcountry areas.