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Uganda: Ura Seeks to Identify 2,000 Rental Taxpayers in Next Three Months

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has said it will in the next three months seek to identify about 2,000 rental income taxpayers.

At the weekend, Mr John Rujoki Musinguzi, the URA commissioner general, said in a statement that the rental income tax segment continues to see a lot of non-compliance with only 8 percent of landlords fully remitting what is due in taxes.

The non-compliance, he said, "is unfair to other compliant taxpayers from other sectors of the economy," noting that URA had deployed the Rental Tax Compliance System in a pilot project as a preparatory measure to close leakages in the Rental Income tax segment.

URA also indicated that it was aware that close to 88 high-income landlords who own close to 285 properties in Greater Kampala don't pay rental income tax.

The software-based system seeks to enhance tax compliance and will be important in determining priority individuals or corporations that are likely to underpay rental income tax.

The system is developed using data gathered from participating government agencies and utilities companies among which include ministries of Local Government, Lands, Kampala Capital City Authority, National Identification and Registration Authority, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, National Information Technology Authority, Uganda Communications Commission and Uganda Registration Services Bureau, among others.

The technology was developed with the guidance of the Ministry of Finance and URA. RippleNami, a private company is conducting the implementations.

URA has been implementing a number of digital based solutions, among which include Digital Tax Stamps and e-invoice and e-receipts in a bid to enhance tax mobilisation.

The Rental Tax Compliance System is part of the larger plan that seeks to widen the tax base.

URA recently indicated that there were only about a million Ugandans that pay taxes, which has led to stagnation of tax to gross domestic product ration. Mr Musinguzi also noted the system uses intricate data analysis and optimisation to integrate various data types from selected ministries, departments and agencies to match properties in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area to their owners.

He warned non-complaint property owners including those with no tax identification numbers, those who claimed no rental income and those who have not filed returns in the last five years to take advantage of the voluntary disclosure window before they are identified.