URA backs campaign to end illicit financial flows
URA commissioner General Doris Akol said the tax body is keen on stopping outflows arising from smuggling, among other activities.
Kampala- Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has pledged to support the campaign to end the Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) that are draining the country’s economy as well as that of the continent.
The ‘Stop the Bleeding’ campaign seeks to end plunder from the African continent.
IFFs are illegal movements of money or capital from one country to another.
At the weekend, Ms Doris Akol, the URA Commissioner General told Daily Monitor that they will certainly support the campaign that was recently launched in Uganda.
“Yes (we shall support the programme) part of [our plan to] increase domestic revenues is stopping IFFs outflows, especially those arising from smuggling, trade, misinvocing, transfer pricing and other forms of aggressive tax planning. URA is already involved in some aspect of curbing IFFs,” she said.
Africa, according to the High Level Panel report released last year, loses more than $50 billion (about Shs165 trillion) annually in illegal capital outflows.
Much of this money is lost through illegal activities supported by multinationals.
However, civil society organisations such as Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), Action Aid and Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) have been at the centre stage of fighting the outflow that they put at more than $509m (Shs1.5 trillion) annually out of Uganda in particular.
The amount lost is more than or equivalent to 60 years of budget for government agencies such as the National Bureau of Standards, an institution mandated to, among other things, get rid of substandard and potentially life-threatening counterfeit products flooding the country.
It is also nearly a half of the budget allocated to key sector ministries such as that of Agriculture.
The campaign was launched in Kampala last month to advocate for policy reforms that can empower institutions such as URA to mobilise more taxes from multinationals.