The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has commissioned a caravan, a mobile tax office that will traverse different parts of the country to educate the citizens about the importance of paying taxes.
Dubbed ‘Tujenge Uganda Bus,’ the caravan coincides with URA’s celebration of 30 years of existence. URA was birthed on September 15, 1991.
The URA public and corporate affairs manager, Mr Ian Rumanyika, officially flagged off the team of media and URA officials for the caravan on Monday, August 2, 2021.
He said the caravan will document the highs and lows of the tax collecting body.
“As URA, we expect to collect Shs21.4 trillion next year following increased tax education which will heighten the spirit of tax compliance and publicizing projects completed with tax payers’ money,” Mr Rumanyika said.
The Tujenge bus is fitted with 5 work stations for tellers, a mini boardroom where officers can sit and strategize for the day, a water-proof display screen, speakers, kitchenette with a deep freezer and microwave, 4 bunkers where officers can rest, and lavatories.
The bus is energy sufficient with ability to operate with multiple sources of power; electricity, solar with inverters in case of a rainy season and a generator.
There are also MTN and Airtel routers to enable continuation of work. Mr Rumanyika said that Tujenge Uganda is a dream come true that will fill a big gap and give URA mileage. He said the bus shows that URA has a clear focus of set goals and now has the potential to exceed the goal to expand the tax register.
“Our taxman ratio is the highest in the region or even in the continent. It’s about one officer to 12,000 taxpayers. With this bus, we can have a mobile office dedicated to every region,” he said.
Mr Anthony Mwanje, the coordinator of Private Sector Development and Secretariat for the Development Land Programme, who represented the Ministry of Finance and European Union, at the event said that the bus will achieve an increased taxpayer register, compliance and tax collection.
“From this intervention, we expect the tax register to grow and an increase in compliance because of what this bus is going to do. We are looking at more public awareness about the different taxes that URA collects and communities receiving a lot more from URA,” Mwanje said.