1000 SMES FOR TAX AWARDS
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) on Tuesday last launched the annual tax payer appreciation month that runs through the entirety of the month of September. Over the years the focus was on big companies with annual turnover of more than Ugshs2b. Speaking at the launch of the tax payer appreciation month at the headquarters in Kampala, the Commissioner General Doris Akol said that this year’s focus will be on the SMEs who are the unsung heroes in as far as economic contribution to the growth of this country is concerned through their tax payment. “This year’s focus is on those companies that typically do not fall either in the large tax payer category or those that would not typically contribute a significant amount of revenue, but also diligently pay and are compliant with their taxes,” she said. Akol further noted that irrespective of the status of the tax payers; be it large or small, they all count and make a contribution to the economy. “Every tax payer counts” is this year’s theme and many month long activities will be carried out which include among others countrywide tax payer visit, to thank them for their contribution over the years, engagement and receiving of feedback from the tax payers, providing knowledge and skills for effective business management, specialized tax payer education services to the SME sector, holding national corporate social responsibility to give back to society and also make an impact on the communities on which URA serves, and the activities will climax on 27th of this month at Kololo Airstrip where the best SME exhibitors and the most compliant tax payers will be awarded. She however stressed that other big tax payers will be attended to during the month but the focus is mainly on SMEs.
SMEs contribute 25% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 45% of the country’s labour force and according to statistics from the Pay As You Earn Database at URA, the SME sector contributed Ugsh7.57T in FY16/17, Ugsh9T in FY17/18, And Ugsh9.7T in the FY19/19 that was concluded in June this year, and this is the sole reason why the major focus is on them this year because supporting them will not only boost their growth but also have a ripple effect on the country according to the commissioner general.
Present at the launch was also the commissioner processing and marketing from the ministry of trade industry and cooperative, Dr. Joshua Mutambi, Rosemary Mutyabule, the Director Business advisory and consultancy services from Enterprise Uganda, who equally underscored the importance of the SME sector and thanked URA for the special focus being given to the sector in this year’s tax appreciation month.