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URA collects Shs 3.1tn in first quarter

The wholesale sector was the best-performing tax head as Uganda Revenue Authority collected Shs 3.1tn in the three months to September, 2017.

The tax-body, however, missed its target by Shs 132bn although it says revenues grew by 11.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The wholesale sector entails the sale of goods or merchandise to retailers. It can also be to other wholesalers or anyone else other than the final consumer.

The wholesale sector accounted for 34.26 per cent of the collections followed by the manufacturing sector at 27 per cent.

The two sectors collectively generated more than 61 per cent of the total revenue during the first quarter of
the financial year 2017/18, URA said.

URA collected lower revenues in the information, financial, electricity, public and mining sectors, which all registered declines.

DECLINES

According to URA, there was a decline in tax collections of major customs items. There was also less than projected growth in international trade taxes, which grew by 11.96 per cent instead of the expected 15.84 per cent.

Another decline was noted in communication services. “The communication sector has continued to register a negative slope in prices for the second year in a row, which affected excise revenue collections by 16 per cent.

The same can be said of VAT sales from the telecom sector which have grown by a paltry 3.6 per cent despite a drop in prices of 8.1 per cent indicating a sluggish response in demand for communication services despite the slump in prices.

More people are using internet data services to communicate, which are cheaper compared to the traditional voice calls and SMS.

On enforcement, from July - September 2017, URA had 2,040 seizures intercepted in both customs gazetted and non-gazetted areas. The seizures yielded a total revenue recovery of Shs 12.73bn.

The top smuggled items during the period of July-September 2017 include motor vehicles, rice, garments, slot machines, footwear, electrical, hardware items, textiles, beauty products and motor vehicle spares.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd