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Thursday, September 29, 2022

NO NEW TAXES: Government plans to save Ugandans against high commodity prices

NO NEW TAXES: Government plans to save Ugandans against high commodity prices

While reading the budget on Tuesday 14th June at the Kololo Independence Grounds, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said that in a bid to achieve next financial year’s budget priorities, government will enhance domestic revenue mobilization instead of introducing new taxes.

Kasaija assured Ugandans that government will not introduce new taxes in the financial year 2022/2023 but rather more measures to enforce old ones.

The minister said that being aware of the current economic situation and the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, government will focus on getting tough on tax evaders to ensure it realizes its collections. Government will further strengthen Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to enable the collection of enough taxes that will fund the shs48 trillion budget.

“Madam Speaker, no new taxes will be introduced in financial year 2022/23. We will achieve revenue targets by improving the efficiency in tax collection and enhancing compliance to tax laws. The capacity of the Uganda Revenue Authority will be enhanced by recruiting and training staff, deploying appropriate equipment and ICT to enforce tax laws,” Kasaija said.

The finance minister said parliament had made amendments to laws in order to guarantee their enforcement.

“I wish to report that Parliament has made amendments to the various tax laws intended to simplify the laws, clarify previously ambiguous provisions and close loopholes that may lead to revenue leakage. Madam Speaker, the amendments that have been made are in the Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax, the Stamp Duty Act and the Tax Procedures Act.”

He continued to mention that the amendments made are meant to desist tax evasion and other vices.

“The amendments under the Tax Procedures Code Act among others include the introduction of penalties for failure to adhere to Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution and Digital Tax Stamps. This is intended to combat tax evasion, smuggling, and other vices.”

The minister said this budget aims at stimulating economic recovery, enhance productivity and competitiveness of enterprises and also help in wealth creation and jobs for the ordinary Ugandans. Minister Kasaija added that government will work on ways of reducing its expenditure in the next financial year in a bid to realize the budgetary goals.

Kasaija also listed measures that government intends to and/or has already undertaken to cushion Ugandans against the high commodity prices in the country.

The minister stated that supporting farmers to grow more fast-maturing food and oil seeds  to ensure sufficient domestic supply; maintaining a market-based determination of prices to support a continuous supply of the goods and services intended to ensure that demand does not outstrip supply; expediting improvement of alternative fuel import routes  across Lake Victoria to avoid possible unnecessary supply disruptions and using appropriate fiscal and monetary policies to  mitigate  the impact of price shocks are some of the long term and short term measures government has undertaken to curb the rising commodity prices.

Others are construction additional fuel storage infrastructure in the medium term, and stock them adequately as well as expediting commercial oil production and development of the oil refinery.

Not increasing taxes, stringent measures to curb tax evasion, and policies to cushion Ugandans from high commodity prices are some of the forward government measures to ensure socio economic progress of Uganda.

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