URA Recoups Sh25 Billion From Tax Evaders

Uganda Revenue Authority continues to tighten its grip around tax evaders with the tax body’s enforcement team recording a Shs 25bn recovery in unpaid tax between November 2013 and October 2014.

The money recovered is higher than the Shs 24bn recorded in financial year 20122013. The tax body announced that the recoveries were made on goods worth Shs 52bn. James Kisaale, the assistant commissioner, Enforcement, URA, said under valuations still remained a major challenge especially now with the aent of technology.

“Enforcement actions against outright smuggling have made it very difficult for most people to engage in that business. We still have those who are bold. Many of them [tax evaders] think they can deal with the aantage of technology,” Kisaale said.

He was speaking to the press at the URA head offices in Nakawa last week. URA’s team seized up to 5,635 items from which it made its recovery. The biggest swoop happened in May, when URA’s team grabbed 581 items and made a recovery of Shs 3.1bn.

The most common items seized were: garments, rice, electrical products, agro chemicals, and hardware. A substantial amount of these goods had been stolen, and was destined for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, URA noted.

URA could not have carried out this enforcement without the help of informers. In a statement, the tax body noted: “Usually enforcement lies on information (called intelligence) for effective enforcement on illicit trade. This intelligence is obtained from informants and analysis of the Customs information systems. About 40 per cent of the intelligence obtained comes from informers.”

URA also said it was sharing information with some businesses such as fuel dealers to track down smugglers. The tax body also said it was talking to custom officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo to deal with tax evasion on vehicles.

Source : The Observer

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