Uganda tax collector ponders upgrading service pointsDubbed ‘Served by the CG”, Akol’s (left) walk-about campaign is meant to access URA services and tax payers’ concerns towards making future improvements.
Money being available, several Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Liaison Offices in and around Kampala can be upgraded to cope with an increased demand from the public for a wider range of services.
While on a field trip to the URA Liaison office in the Kyaliwajjala suburb, Commissioner General Doris Akol said, “The liaison offices can only offer is services like offering Tax Identification Numbers (TIN), tax filing. If a customer wants to request for tax refund, that cannot be done here and will still need to come to head office which is inconveniencing for our customers. We need to extend more services to these offices so they are able to service customers fully.”
Akol said as of now, some services like filing for refunds cannot be done at Liaison Offices which means tax payers still have to go to the head office at Nakawa which can be an inconvenience. She said originally, these offices were planned to only handle the most basic queries and solutions.
She said, “We so far have service offices in Kampala which are serving many more customers than our upcountry offices. Kyaliwajjala is still a relatively young office introduced in 2017, however it is already bringing us over UGX32 billion ($8.7 million) from just the home grown businesses. It also brought on board an additional 500 tax payers. If the government could fund us, we will introduce more offices in other growing business centres in Uganda, because of the new service centres, we will be able to achieve the two million tax payers mark by end of this financial year.”
For this financial year ending June 2020, URA is expected to collect nearly UGX19 trillion (just over $5 billion) up from the UGX16 trillion the previous financial year.
Akol’s surprise visit to the Kyaliwajjala office, was intended to check on the everyday delivery of services by URA employees, understand the challenges involved while also interacting with members of public. The campaign is dubbed ‘Served by the CG’.
George Lubega, a teacher and businessman was one of the customers served by the URA boss. He said,”I wanted a loan from the bank, but was asked for a TIN number. I decided to come process one from here and was lucky to find the URA boss who served me accordingly. I am privileged and I appreciate the fact that services have been brought closer.”