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URA eases TIN application process

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has introduced a new process for the application for a Tax Identification Number (TIN).

According to URA, it has also made changes in the existing TIN application form to improve the experience of their clients and attend to the changes in the tax regime, technology, and the business environment.

"The new web-based form offers a simplified user-friendly process, replacing the existing MS Excel-based form. In doing so, we have guaranteed that the process is faster and more convenient," says Ian Rumanyika, the acting assistant commissioner, public and corporate affairs at URA.

The past application form which was based on the MS Excel spreadsheet was too complicated for most taxpayers, and this made the whole process tedious.

The improved TIN application process has started with the individual TIN applications by converting the current TIN application form template into a web form to facilitate a better taxpayer registration experience.

The non-individual TIN application process will follow soon, according to Rumanyika. The system is now able to access individuals' bio-data and corporate registration details from the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA), and the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) to facilitate the process.

This means that TIN applicants are no longer required to photocopy their National IDs and attach the same to their application.

"The URA and NIRA systems have been synchronized to validate and auto-populate particulars like the Name, Surname, Gender, first name, Middle name, Citizenship and Date of birth once a National Identification Number (NIN) has been provided by the applicant," Rumanyika says.

Similarly, for businesses applying for the TIN, the URA and URSB systems have been synchronized to allow for auto-population of business details like the business name once the Business Registration Number (BRN) has been provided by the taxpayer. 

Until now, due to the complicated process, many taxpayers have had to seek the services of agents to get a TIN, at a cost ranging between Shs 30,000 and Shs 100,000 despite the URA service being free.

The improvement now does away with the need for a referee and alternate contact person details. The applicant will also be required to have an email address that is unique or not attached to any TIN.

There will also be no documents required if the applicant has a valid national identification number, NIN, or business registration number, BRN.

TIN applicants will no longer have to print, sign off and deliver the signed terms and conditions form to the nearest URA office in physical copy as has been the case.  They will instead acknowledge their agreement with the terms and conditions by ticking the terms and conditions agreement tab.

Taxpayers who are employed will only have to provide their employer’s TIN, and details about their employer will be auto-populated.

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