Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) collected Shs 256 billion from the use of the Exchange of Information on Request (EOIR) according to John Musinguzi, commissioner general of URA.
The EOIR platform is used to share tax information with other countries to assess companies doing business in and outside Uganda. Currently, Uganda can send and receive taxpayer information from over 147 jurisdictions around the world for tax purposes.
EOIR increases voluntary compliance through early detection and deterrence of tax evasion and fraud, increased knowledge of taxpayer operations among others. URA as the end-user of exchange of information relies on other agencies to ensure availability of reliable, accurate, and up-to-date information for both domestic and international transactions.
Speaking during the launch of Uganda's second EOIR peer review, Musinguzi said the exchange of information with treaty partners serves as a key source of information on taxation of multinational corporations and cross-border investigations.
He said Uganda has been exchanging information but the current process is manual and extremely slow. One can send a request and it takes over three months to get a response. And if there's a need for clarification, it would take another three months - making it almost a year to get information to be able to correctly assess the companies that do business in the country.
“When go through this exercise of peer review and we are categorized as compliant, then we will join the automatic exchange of information in which we will be able to automatically exchange information with a big network of 164 countries on financial flows. What is important is that information must be shared in a secure and accurate manner. You can’t share information with someone you are not sure will keep it because we have an obligation of confidentiality,” he stated.
The director of economic affairs at ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Moses Kaggwa said they have launched this exercise to see whether Uganda has standards to share financial information, especially on transactions of tax players in and outside this country.