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TAXMAN MAR 2018

28 Emphasis has been

28 Emphasis has been placed on having a HNWI unit whose officials have good communication skills. To ensure that it deals with the political sensitivity of taxing these individuals, it has merged the HNWIs unit with its Very Important Person (VIP) unit and placed the two under the Public Sector Office under the Domestic Taxes Department. There is close collaboration between the HNWI unit and the URA’s research department, which ensures that any recommendations made through research are tested in practice. People identified as HNWIs are approached initially from a perspective of educating them, and getting their commitment to pay some taxes, rather than undertaking harsh enforcement. There are more success

29 stories that have been registered since including: 1. Profiles of HNWI/VIPs have been developed and updated in the register: 2. There is great improvement in the filing of income tax returns by HNWIs. Many of the individuals had never filed an income tax return. 3. Increased revenue. By the end of June 2016, the unit had collected over UGX19 Billion Uganda shillings (approximately USD 5.5million) in rental tax, personal Income Tax, Value Added Tax and Stamp Duty 4. Improved voluntary compliance. The attitude towards paying taxes among HNWIs/VIPs. It was noticed that for some, non-compliance was due to a lack of understanding of their tax obligations. It is one thing to have a provision in the law that provides for the taxation of all individuals and quite another to enforce that provision. The success of implementing laws differs from one country to another. Enforcement is even more precarious when powerful individuals such as politicians. URA found that unless it deliberately included politicians in its strategy, it would be difficult to collect taxes from these HNWIs. The team behind this success story includes the following: 1. Milly Nalukwago Isingoma, the Assistant Commissioner Research, Planning and Development. She is also the URA head of Delegation to the East African Revenue Authorities Technical Committee (EARATC) and a member of ICTD’s Centre Advisory Group (CAG). 2. Susan Nakato, supervisor Corporate Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation in RPD. She is one of the economists behind the African Tax Outlook publications and a lecturer at Kyambogo University, Uganda. 3. Ronald Waiswa, a supervisor Research and Policy Analysis in RPD. He also heads research and training at Lida Africa. 4. Patrick Lumala Zzimbe is an officer in Enterprise Risk Management in RPD. He is a statistician and researcher in the areas of taxation, gender, food security, demographic and health, agriculture and child labour in the mineral and energy sector. 5. Jalia Kangave is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies and the Capacity Building Manager of the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD). She also leads the Gender and Tax program at ICTD. For a detailed publication, please check out this link. ICTD publication on HNWI.pdf

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