Kiryandongo adopts digital revenue collection to enhance efficiency

Some leaders of Kiryandongo District and officials from Local Government Finance Commission plant a tree at the launch of the Integrated Revenue Administration System at Kiryandongo District Headquarters in February 2024. (Image supplied by Emmanuel Murungi, the Kiryandongo District Communication Officer)

Summary:

  • The Kiryandongo District in Uganda has faced long-standing challenges in locally collected revenue assessment due to the lack of digitalization. To address this, the district has adopted the Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS) for online tax collection.

For an extended period, suboptimal performance has been a prevailing issue in the domain of locally collected revenue assessment within the Kiryandongo District Local Government in mid-western Uganda, as disclosed by Mr. Martin Jacan Gwokto, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

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This deficiency is primarily attributed to the absence of digitalization in revenue collection, exposing collectors to various risks associated with handling government funds in the form of taxes in the district.

Mr. Jonathan Akweteireho, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Kiryandongo District, asserts that such a system puts local tax ombudsman agents at the risk of misusing locally collected taxes at the source.

To mitigate the temptations and potential pitfalls linked to unauthorized spending at the source, the district has aligned with other political administrative units in the country by adopting a digital revenue collection system known as the Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS).

This online revenue collection system facilitates taxpayer registration, assessment, and direct payment of taxes to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). Payments will be conducted through banks or mobile money on cellphones, as outlined by the CAO, Mr. Gwokto, quoting the District Communication Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Murungi.

Mr. Gwokto expresses optimism that the implementation of IRAS will bring about efficiency and improvement in the revenue sub-sector of the district, addressing the historical underperformance.

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“Local revenue performance is an area where Kiryandongo district has been doing poorly. However, with IRAS, we hope for great improvement in revenue collection and budget performance for this current and the future financial years to come,” says the CAO.

Mr. Akweteireho emphasizes the importance of district leaders sensitizing taxpayers about the new system and its positive outcomes. He urges parish chiefs and revenue officers to embrace this new system, which aims to prevent the misuse of government funds at the source.

Mrs. Edith Aliguma Adyeri, the Kiryandongo District Local Government Chairperson, acknowledges the district’s past challenges with the old model of revenue collection. She expresses hope that the new system will enable the district to achieve its revenue targets and fund development priorities.

To symbolize the adoption of IRAS, a tree was planted at the district headquarters, supported by the Local Government Finance Commission, which oversees the revenue and budget performance of districts, cities, and municipalities. Kiryandongo district aims to collect Shs1.5b in the current financial year.

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