URA experts explain how applied science is boosting revenue mobilization

URA experts explain how applied science is boosting revenue mobilization
The Assistant Commissioner Tax Investigations, Agnes Nabwire talking to the press during a tour in the URA Labaratories at nakawa

For a country to develop, there is a need to improve local revenue while reducing borrowing to finance government budgets and public development projects through strategic innovations that the country can leverage to boost transparency and integrity mobilizing public funds by all stakeholders.

In addition to other tax collection measures Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has highlighted the important role science has contributed in enhancing revenue mobilization for selected imported goods through enforcing tax compliance, especially in the manufacturing sector which according to URA experts is one of the key sectors steering the countries growth.

In order to allow the promotion of business, and avoid manipulation and appropriate use of the tax system, The Commissioner of Tax Investigation Department, Denis Kugonza Kateeba said that there is a need to minimize tax fraud through tax investigations by applying science to establish the right value of goods by testing samples of selected goods to ascertain the correct tax to be levied.

“Science application ascertain the appropriate cost of materials to make product valuation in order to establish determine the cost against which e tax is levied,” he said

The Assistant Commissioner Tax Investigations, Agnes Nabwire while touring the laboratories at the URA headquarters in Nakawa said that previously at the customs point there has been a system of application of tax by classification of products by observation, but with the introduction of science, she says that the applied science now being used can ascertain the value of the products through laboratory testing before applying tax rates.

She said that the science tax application has also gone a long way in enforcing tax compliance through correct declarations by importers which she said has recovered a lot of revenue.

“Different compositions have different values to pay tax commensurate to the value. URA has been losing revenue, with science we have recovered billions of shillings. For textiles; if cotton material pays more tax than polyester” she said  

Stephen Kiggundu, The Acting Manager of Science Investigations, said that the various science models applied in revenue mobilization include: Digital Forensics to obtain information in digital formats with the record, Geospatial Information System (GIS) data to support domestic tax, Laboratory service analysis, among others. These initiatives he said will minimize smuggling of goods, under declaration, and abuse of export promotion schemes among others.

Among the highlighted products for science, applications include; Textiles, Tiles, Shoes, Chemicals, and Artificial hair among others.