Domestic Revenue Mobilization

CSBAG Intervention: – Promoting fair and just tax system for Ugandans

Given that Government of Ugandas strategy to increase domestic resource mobilization continues to be a challenge (Tax to GDP Ratio stagnated at 13.7%, 2017), and yet effective revenue mobilization is critical in enabling Government provide quality services to its citizens. CSBAG has since 2013 been instrumental in Promoting fair and inclusive fiscal policies and strategies for revenue mobilization, allocation and utilization for sustainable development both at Local and Central Government Levels. CSBAG has specifically engaged Government under the Public Expenditure and Management Committee (PEMCOM) to ensure that the Midterm Term Revenue Strategy (MTRS) development process is consultative and in line with tax policy principles such as fairness, simplicity, equity and economic and administrative efficiency.

Key interventions in domestic revenue mobilization at central Government

Annual Fair Tax Campaigns

CSBAG advocates for a fair and just tax systems in Uganda that allow for fair and equitable tax collection to ensure that each taxpayer pays their fair share of taxes. Some of the previous initiatives are below:

When Government proposed in Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2018 Government , among other amendments, a 1% transaction value tax on mobile money, CSBAG mobilised citizens to challenge this regressive proposal . Based on grounds that this would hurt efforts of deepening financial inclusion, it would affect the poor most who were the majority users of mobile money. Due to CSBAG effort, Government reduced the tax to 0.5% and imposed it on withdrawals only. A case story of this work can be accessed via: Shaping Ugandas tax policies-A Case of the citizen led Campaign against The 1% Tax Mobile Money on Transactions in Uganda

In the financial year 2016/17, CSBAG mobilised citizens countrywide to collect 4.2 million signatures from over 80 districts to petition the H.E the President to exercise his powers and return the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to Parliament. This was during the CSBAG campaign against the amendment on the Income Tax Act Cap 340, sec 21 (1) to exempt MPs from paying income tax on their allowances . A copy of the Citizens Petition to the President can be accessed via: Citizen Open Letter To H.E The President Of The Republic Of Uganda Not To Assent To The Income Tax(Amendment), Bill. The President position assented to Parliament proposal to exempt their allowances from being taxed a decision that is still haunting Ugandas revenue mobilisation efforts

In 2014, CSBAG mobilized farmers to petition the President of Uganda not to impose 18% Value Added Tax on agriculture inputs. To CSBAG this proposal would hurt most the smallholder farmers majority of whom were engaged in subsistence agriculture. Over 1 million citizens were mobilised, and they petitioned Parliament of Uganda and this proposal was dropped by Government. Parliament Keeps Promise to Farmers Rejects Taxes on Agricultural Inputs

Influencing tax policies

CSBAG has since 2014 worked with other CSOs including the Tax Justice Alliance to generated alternative revenue policies to aid government to generate additional revenue. On annual basis, CSOs members present these alternatives to Parliament of Uganda with an aim of improving the taxation base. Below are examples of the CSO tax proposals that were adopted by Government in the project period:

  • July 1, 2016 taxes on personalised number plates were raised from Ush5 million ($1,498) to Ush20 million ($5,992)
  • In the same financial year CSBAG proposed to Government to increases fees for Driving Permit Classification from UGX 41,000 to UGX 60,000. This became effective July 1st, 2017
  • For FY 2017/18 Government adopted the CSO proposal to have the tax holiday on the Bujagali Hydro Power Project assessed and revised every five years instead of keeping it open until 2033
  • In the National Budget Strategy FY 2018/19 Government introduced a reform where Collection of all Non-Tax Revenue will be a responsibility of the Uganda Revenue Authority this was partly brought about by the pressure from CSOs calling for reforms in the collection of NTR to improve tax administration and management,

CSO Position papers on ax Bills

Research and Analysis

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