Festive season sees increase in custom revenue collections by URA

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The Uganda Revenue Authority customs department has said that much as it may not hit the half year target of shs4.5 trillion, the peak days of the festive season between December 20 and 22 carried with them a slight increase in revenue collections by shs7billion.

The tax body says it collected shs47 billion on each of those days compared to the normal shs40 billion collected each day previously.

According to the URA commissioner in charge of customs, Abel Kagumire, even on December, 23, the tax body’s collections surpassed the normal revenue targets by collecting shs16.7 billion.

He noted that this action seen on the One Stop Boarder points of Busia and Malaba among others due to the festive season .

Kagumire added that this state of affairs cannot last forever, noting that there is always correlation between revenue collected and the festive season.

“Like any other festive period, we always recognize an increase in the volume of traffic inflow and outflow at the major entry and exit points. The factors at play are behavioral. For instance, during the period of December, 20 and 25, we received 80 interstate buses from Kenya to Uganda and 300 private temporary imported motor vehicles (passengers) through the border point of Busia,” Kagumire said.

According to the customs department , there was a Christmas revenue spillover effect from December, 24 to 26 in which it significantly collected below the set targets, a factor it attributes to limited or no commercial activity happening from on the three days which are public holidays.

The general traffic flow for the six day period between December 21 and 26 at Malaba border point shows that URA received 7,657 incoming trucks and 2,788 outgoing trucks while Busia registered an increase especially for outgoing traffic with an average of 704 trucks exiting versus a daily average of 660 trucks.

“ Most of the goods were actually exports , due to the import substitution while hose entering where mainly raw materials but most of those goods are coming from the EAC and we do not collect taxes on them,”Kagumire said.

Even with better performance during the festive season, it is still unclear whether customs will hit its target of shs4.470 trillion in the six months running from July to December 2023, as it is a few days to the official release of the half year performance report .

“We may not hit it but customs target is not the URA target. URA will hit the target as domestic taxed may be performing well,”Kagumire said.

The URA customs department has its target as shs10.9 trillion shillings in the financial year 2023/24.

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