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URA Diaspora Tax Policy | Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Mr. Henry Saka

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Posted September 3, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in URA Diaspora Tax Policy ~ 2,606 views

     

Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Mr. Henry Saka

Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Mr. Henry Saka

By Arthur Katabalwa — The Convention season within the Ugandan Diaspora is on and several groups ranging from cultural artistes to singers are all heading out to the USA and The UK. The Uganda Revenue Authority is also making sure that it is sending a high level powered delegation to represent the economic interests of Uganda.

Meeting the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes Mr. Henry Saka at his Crested Towers offices, he was more than eager to showcase how important the URA is to the Ugandan Diaspora and how they can increasingly play a vital role in securing the Ugandan finances. This is a fully fronted drive to further encourage more inward investment from the Diaspora and explain what the URA does and improve the partnership between the two entities.

“Over the past year, remittances and money coming from abroad has totaled in trillions of Ugandan shillings. And as we head towards the group of countries in the emerging markets bracket, we know that these remittances are very important to the economy and taxation in Uganda” Mr. Saka said. “The Ugandan economy is growing at an annualized rate of between 6 to 7% per annum and with this growth the URA is increasing its efforts to streamline taxation.”

The URA knows that increased investment in Uganda by Ugandans living abroad will have a knock on effect on employment  “For example in manufacturing, we will increase employment and with that the spending power of individuals increases. When we increase our exports not only do we get more money coming in to the country but we also add value to our goods.” he added.  “The view from the URA is that we need more encouragement to Ugandans abroad to get more engaged in inward investment with our other international partners.

Ugandans in the Diaspora have a much more vested interest in investing much more at home. A dollar invested here gets one higher returns than a dollar invested wherever one may be living.” At the moment, the government is encouraging more Public Private Partnerships “and we want that middle “P” to become increasingly of Ugandan origin”.

To assist in attracting more investment, several measures and tax incentives have been put in place. Some of these measures are less well known and as such the URA is on a drive to get the message out. There are several incentives in agro processing , international payments, scientific research and many more. “In Agro processing after one has applied to the commissioner for a certificate of exemption several tax exemptions come into play as investors set up their business. These are the things that we need people to know about.”

In its drive to get itself more better understood by the public, the URA is making efforts to let Ugandans who are interested in investing back home that it is working in their best interest as well in developing the economy. “Taxation isn’t your enemy” Mr. Saka implored ” but when better used it is also a major driving force in the economy.”With this coming trip the URA wants to let Ugandans abroad to become better placed in the development of the economy. “If one is a law abiding resident of whichever country they may be living in, paying their fair share of taxation to that country, they are contributing to the development of that country.

If then they want to contribute and invest in Uganda what are the best practices that will best utilize those taxes that they would have paid to Uganda? Those and many more issues are what we will want to be discussing. We want those practices which they think work well to be implemented here as well in Uganda so as to stimulate further growth. Let us encourage and promote engagement in meaningful economic activities which will encourage growth, including taxes.”

On this trip, the URA team will also be encouraging a wide ranging conversation to see how they too can improve their services. “As we have clients abroad as well, please help us to build an environment that helps you.” Ugandans with concerns about services provided will be encouraged to give feedback to the URA delegation.  “The Ugandans in the Diaspora are an important stake holder in the development of Uganda. Their impact on the economy is huge. Because the risks are higher, we are taking a high level delegation.”

The delegation will be lead by The Commissioner General of The Uganda Revenue Authority Ms. Doris Akol and they will be visiting the United States Of America and The United Kingdom over the next two weeks.

Arthur Katabalwa — mwenky99@gmail.com


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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