“We are cognizant of the fact that there are challenges we need to address - the digital economies. For example, Jumia, Google, Facebook and Kikuu, to mention but a few are around us. We have all used them in a way or another, and yet we are not registering revenue numbers in terms of collections from them,” Akol said.
President Museveni, Akol and Kasaija at the tax adminstrators meeting at Serena on Tuesday
It no longer makes
sense to compel companies to provide a physical address for tax assessment when several of them are minting money without offices, the
Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority-URA, Doris Akol has observed.
who was addressing tax administrators from African states at Serena hotel on
Tuesday, said one of the challenges they have to address are companies that are
hard to locate. Taxing companies operating online is probably one of the
biggest puzzles for tax collectors the world over.
are cognizant of the fact that there are challenges we need to address - the
digital economies. For example, Jumia, Google, Facebook and Kikuu, to mention
but a few are around us. We have all used them in a way or another, and yet we
are not registering revenue numbers in terms of collections from them,” Akol
Adding that, “This is because most of our policies had probably
overlooked them. For instance, for one to be assessed for tax, they must have a
physical address. This is a pre-requisite that doesn’t tally with digital
economies because they operate online and barely have a physical footprint, yet
they mint lots of money in sales.”
The African Tax Administrators’ Forum (ATAF)
brings together tax administrators from 38 African countries. It has been in
existence for ten years. On his part, President Yoweri Museveni told tax
collectors that a free trade agreement that most African governments have
signed to will widen market, boost business will consequently up domestic
least 54 countries have already endorsed the African Continental Free Trade
Area (ACFTA), which take effect mid-next year. Museveni, who was the
chief guest at the forum hosted by URA, said the arrangement comes with
challenges, including the fact that countries will forego some taxes by opening
up their borders for goods from fellow African countries.
Museveni said: “In the case of Uganda and,
indeed, most African countries, large markets support more trade in goods,
services and assets produced by job-creating enterprises which generate income
and create jobs.”
On the ATAF, which allows countries to share tax
information and implement initiatives to curb tax cheats, Museveni said Uganda
takes note of the changing global conditions, threats to revenue bases through
illicit financial flows and tax evasion.