Uganda Hires American Company to Improve Rental Tax Collection

URA CG John Musinguzi, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and Ripplenami's Faruk Awadh after the signing.

The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has signed an agreement with an American Company RIPPLENAMI INC to provide a solution to improve rental income tax compliance for Uganda.

The agreement was signed by the Ministry Undersecretary, Betty Kasimbazi on behalf of government and Faruk Awadh, Director for Operations Africa on behalf of RippleNami.

The agreement will enhance a solution (system) which will integrate data from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) to enable proper identification of individuals and Corporations to determine rental income prior to standard deductions.

According to the Ministry, there has been continued tax evasion and under declaration of rental tax income and as such, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has been faced with low rental income tax collections over the years.

The Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija who witnessed the signing ceremony urged Uganda Revenue Authority to collaborate with Ripplenami in solving uncollected rental income tax issues.

“On behalf of Government of Uganda, I congratulate all of us who have been involved in one way or another for having patiently worked through this,” said Kasaija.

Ripplenami Company is expected to start working at the beginning of the new financial year 2020/2021.

For the Property owners, Kasaija urged them not to feel agitated and think that Government is trying to squeeze them.

“Paying taxes is a noble job of any citizen and it is Biblical. I know many people don’t like to pay taxes, but it’s a noble action that every citizen should undertake with open hands,” Kasaija said.

RippleNami shall develop and deploy a rental tax compliance system that will integrate data between the various government agencies to enable proper identification of individuals, and companies that own rentable property and possible rental income tax payable.

The URA will be the primary end user of information and reports generated by the rental tax compliance system.

John Musinguzi Rujoki the URA Commissioner General said URA will work closely with Government Agencies such as Ministry of Lands, NIRA, KCCA,URSB and utility companies to provide the necessary data which will be integrated with the RippleNami technology.

RippleNami will identify properties and assign them geo-addresses in accordance with internationally accepted standards, link the identified properties to their owners or the persons who earn income from those properties and cross match the identified properties and their ownership with the URA TIN database.

The company will also determine the nature of occupancy that is whether a property is owner-occupied or rented out, determine the occupancy period, providing for current and previous periods, determine the estimated rental income assessable to rental tax to be paid prior to standard deductions from each property and by each property owner and provide a clear address for each property identified for ease of reference.

RippleNami will train URA and other staff of the Government of Uganda on the use of the Rental Tax Compliance system.

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