Rwanda’s revenue collection performance is better compared to Uganda and its East African Community peers, Uganda Revenue Authority’s regional revenue report indicates.
According to the report, in the last ten months, Rwanda’s tax body collected 100 per cent of its gross revenue mobilization as other countries, among them Uganda, struggled with their collection targets. Revenue mobilization means to receive or collect money from both internal (domestic taxes) and external (international taxes) sources.
“For July 2012 to April 2013, Rwanda Revenue Authority registered a performance of 100 per cent in gross revenue mobilization, Uganda Revenue Authority posted 97 per cent and Kenya Revenue Authority registered a 90 per cent,” the report reads.
This is supported by the 2011 International Monetary Fund Revenue Mobilization in Developing Countries Report, Rwanda’s impressive revenue mobilization is attributed to among others; its total commitment to efficient IT operations and the evident political will, something tax analysts say is yet to be fully realized in Uganda.
“Revenue authorities (RAs) have not always lived up to the high expectations held by some, but, with political will, they can provide a framework for sustained progress,” an IMF, report reads in part.
Although Uganda has since improved its revenue performance, the report seems to indicate that the country is stagnating. This is evident in the cumulative loss of nearly Shs160 billion incurred over the last ten months, thanks to poor performance in the international tax segment.
For developing countries to catch-up, the report suggests that key improvements which include moving away from duplicative and narrowly focused tax-by-tax approaches, integrating domestic direct and indirect tax management and segmenting the taxpayer population will enhance compliance and improve administration.
The IMF report also says if developing countries are to improve their revenue mobilisation, securing prompt and appropriate tax payment from resource companies, financial institutions and telecom operators is a prerequisite for effective revenue-raising.
“The natural next step is to deliver similarly high-quality services and compliance enforcement to non-large taxpayers, improved business processes, built on effective IT systems, is critical, but failures have been too common,” the report reads.
Some tax experts like Mr Francis Kamulegeya are of the view that better process management are among the major ways that can reduce compliance costs and facilitate self-assessment—for they can simplify taxpayer registration, filing and payment, audit, collection enforcement, and appeals among others.
Nizeyimana Jean Pierre