URA to pardon taxpayers on penalties and interests through voluntary disclosure, launches KAKASA


URA CG Mr John Musinguzi Rujoki during the KAKASA launch. Courtesy photo.

Through the promotion of the KAKASA campaign, URA will help usher in a new approach to doing business, allowing businessmen and women across Uganda to take full charge of their business destiny – from production, importation, consumption and through to record-keeping.

Kampala—3, February 2021: Our strategic mandate, as an organization, is to lead all efforts of mobilizing revenue that will fully fund government expenditure and national development. Over the years, our revenue collection has been growing and we thank God for this achievement.

However, despite this growth, we are still unable, as a nation, to fully fund our national expenditure and the aspirations of the people of Uganda.

Currently, we are funding 47% of the national budget with a tax to GDP ratio of 13%, the lowest and below the average sub-Saharan African performance of 16%.

This move is in line with the Government strategic objective in the national development plan of enhancing domestic resource mobilization where all resources to run government programmes are sourced from its people.

As the flag bearers of revenue mobilization, URA has embarked on implementing a series of new resource mobilization initiatives, aimed at identifying and facilitating eligible citizens and economic players to contribute to the revenue basket and enable Uganda to fully fund her expenditure.

URA is implementing two new smart business solutions, each rooted in our understanding of the concerns of the business community—the Digital Tracking Solution, and the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS). Coupled to this is the voluntary disclosure olive branch extended to our fellow-citizens who do not pay tax, an invitation that they become part of our growing tax-paying family.

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Through the promotion of the KAKASA campaign, URA will help usher in a new approach to doing business, allowing businessmen and women across Uganda to take full charge of their business destiny – from production, importation, consumption and through to record-keeping

The Commissioner General-URA had this to say during the launch.

What is the goal of this campaign? 

The campaign is aimed at cementing URA’s mission and positioning her as a trusted listening partner, business enabler and service-centric organisation passionate about the growth and development of all Ugandans.

Across the business community, we aim to create awareness and then boost the adoption of the three business solutions of EFRIS, Voluntary Disclosure and Digital Tracking Solutions.

We want to encourage the business community to be tax-alert and look at tax as part of a legitimate business expense and not as a burden. By embracing the three business solutions under this campaign, our businessmen and women should no longer face tax-associated challenges such as inaccurate bookkeeping, VAT accounting, declaring the right tax and delayed tax refunds.

Why is URA taking this approach of being a business enabler?

We are walking our mission of “providing an environment that delivers a delightful experience in revenue services and business facilitation.” At URA, we have renewed our commitment to leading Uganda to economic self-sufficiency status and we appeal to you all our esteemed taxpayers to commit to take this journey with us. We are listening to our clients, trying to understand their concerns, building on our experience and looking to develop ever-smarter solutions that will make life easier and better for them.

We are a listening organization and this campaign embodies this – listening to the concerns of the public and business communities and responding to their needs in a dynamic and innovative way.  We are proud to do so, especially in this period where the Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged so many businesses.

There is a belief that few businesses are paying taxes in Uganda and that overtaxing these few businesses lead to their collapse in the long run. How does Kakasa solve this?

The problem isn’t overtaxing, but having a few taxpayers bearing the burden of fellow countrymen and women who are not contributing to the revenue basket and are not yet playing their rightful role in our national development. The current taxpaying landscape is uneven. It is characterized by a large informal sector, low tax morale, high levels of business fraud and low levels of literacy.

What are the business solutions that URA is focusing on?

The Kakasa business solutions are meant to level this taxpaying landscape by identifying and facilitating all eligible citizens and economic players to join Uganda’s growing family of compliant taxpayers so that we can all grow the nation together.

For instance, the EFRIS is a platform and tool for proper record keeping with full details of real-time business transactions. This facilitates fair assessments of a business’ tax position, which reduces unfair competition in business. It also improves faster filing of returns and processing of tax refunds.

The DTS will reduce smuggling and dumping of goods, hence controlling illicit trade and encouraging fair market competition. It also provides the business person immediate access to details of their production/imports, which in turn facilitates easy processing of VAT refunds and quickens return filing. On the consumer side, they are aware of the authenticity of the products they’re consuming.

Voluntary disclosure is more flexible and cost-efficient because it does away with litigation costs, time-effective, and gives both parties more control over the process and the results unlike arbitration.

Our aspiration is to mobilize enough revenue for comprehensive national development for this and future generations, a journey we are appealing to all Ugandans to take with us on this campaign.

KAKASA campaign is therefore a behavioural change campaign that will be revealed through a character called KAPO, set to inform, persuade and motivate behaviour changes among Ugandans.

 Who is Kapo?

KAPO is a tax compliant businessman with 2 business ventures to his name registered as KAPO and Sons General Merchandise and Ba Kapo Beer Depot based in Kampala. Kapo involves his wife and kids in the operations of his business to ensure that his slowly growing empire lasts for generations.

Through Kapo’s business chronicles, he will take us on a journey through his world of business categorically showing you how he has been able to turn his business fortunes around courtesy of the Kakasa Business Solutions provided by URA to facilitate trade and to simplify business.

Kapo uses simple language to guide his fellow taxpayers on the path towards learning about Digital Stamps (DTS), the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VD) and the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS).

Kapo will share his business experience and tax tips with fellow taxpayers along the whole cycle of tax compliance detailing what one must do when. At every step of the way, Kapo will show you what you must do to take full control of your business.

Kapo is here to help you get your business game right by ensuring that you #Kakasa every business move by utilizing the vast array of smarter business solutions availed to you.

Kapo will speak to you using mainstream media platforms, and digital channels in a campaign dubbed KAKASA. You’re in charge. Look out for this man over the next couple of months.

By URA Public and Corporate Affairs Department


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