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Telecoms, imports push sh1trillion tax surplus

By Samuel Sanya

Added 13th October 2020 10:22 PM

URA’s targets for this financial year 2020/21 have been shaved to sh19.6 trillion from sh20 trillion due to the expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Telecoms, imports push sh1trillion tax surplus

John Musinguzi, URA’s Commissioner General

URA’s targets for this financial year 2020/21 have been shaved to sh19.6 trillion from sh20 trillion due to the expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

TAXES   BUSINESS

KAMPALA - The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) realized sh1 trillion surplus in the first quarter of the financial year after telecoms and imports performed beyond expectation. The taxman collected sh4 trillion from July to September 2020 beating targets of sh2.99 trillion.  

John Musinguzi, URA's Commissioner General said that there was increased telecom transactions for voice and text owing to limited COVID-19 mobility.  He noted that Mobile money transfers had sh17.52b surplus, phone talk time (sh12.51 b surplus), beer (sh27.69b surplus), and Over the Top OTT taxes (sh8.27b surplus).  

URA's targets for this financial year 2020/21 have been shaved to sh19.6 trillion from sh20 trillion due to the expected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy. The surplus in the first quarter was mainly driven by Manufacturing (18.54%), ICT (20.49%), and Wholesale (2.30%) among others.  

Domestic taxes collection was sh2456.46 b, performing at 131.66% and sh590.75 b above the target, registering a growth of sh51.01 b (2.12%) during the period compared to the same period last Financial Year. 

International trade tax collections were sh1.7 trillion, performing at 138.87% with a surplus of sh479.79b. Compared to the same period last FY, and customs tax collections grew by sh23.93b (1.42%) year on year. 

Revenue from accommodation and food services declined by 58.82%, education sector declined by 31.94%, Arts, entertainment and recreation by 55.59% while a decline of 33.56% was registered underwater supply mostly due to COVID-19 lockdown measures. 

"There was growth for cement, phone talk time, wholesale and retail and spirits. The high demand for cement is due to ongoing infrastructure developments. Demand for spirits increased because it's a raw material for sanitizers," Musinguzi said. 

"As we celebrate voluntary compliance we will reach out to taxpayers in different ways that meet the safety measures necessary in this period. The Taxpayers' Appreciation Season (TPAS) will run for a longer period from October to December 2020," he added.  

Patrick Mukiibi, the URA Commissioner Domestic Taxes said that the taxman is set to procure drones to aid in sniffing out smuggling, identification of rental properties, and other forms of non-compliance.  

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