The Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority John Musinguzi Rujoki who is credited for growing the country’s tax register continues to break virgin grounds to broaden the country’s resource base.
The tax man now wants Ugandan residents with foreign assets and incomes abroad to pay appropriate taxes to Uganda as he seeks to collect more revenues offshore.
His determination is unwavering as manifested in the launch of the Automatic Exchange of Information program at Serena Hotel on Thursday, November 9, 2023.
This follows the enactment of a law to regulate the enforcement of tax compliance by citizen and non-citizens of Uganda with investments, assets and incomes offshore.
The automatic exchange of Information will precede the exchange of Information on Request that enables the tax authority to compel sister authorities of other countries to provide information about any taxpayer when needed.
In its first phase of manual implementation, URA has collected Ugx 200bn from 265 requests to foreign tax bodies. URA is now encouraging tax payers in this category to embrace the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) before September 2025.
After September, the Exchange of Information between URA and cooperating sister tax authorities will be automatic giving the tax body capacity to unearth non-compliance and penalize it.
The body will however accord benefits to the honest tax payers who disclose such information voluntarily.
Alex Byaruhanga, URA’S legal draftsman is optimistic the automatic exchange of Information if successful will ensure that tax payers pay a fair share of taxes in the right jurisdiction hence widening the tax base and broader fairness in tax compliance.
It will ease the investigations by tax bodies on non-resident tax payers who evade tax besides helping URA to generate statistics necessary to facilitate the fight against corruption and illicit financial crimes.
Will Ugandans pass the test of honesty and make voluntary disclosures. The taxmen are ready and confident that tools will check tax evasion and financial crimes.
Special to note:
It is an act of honor to pay taxes honestly and appropriately. This is a message from Debu & Fi Initiatives, the focus group on deepening economy, business and financial inclusion.