URA, RippleNami Uganda kickoff rental tax compliance system project

URA Commissioner-General, John Musinguzi Rujoki. Photo/Courtesy

Six months after RippleNamiĀ® Uganda committed to the Government of Uganda, to empower the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) with cutting edge traceability and transparency technology for improving rental income tax compliance, the project has kicked off with both parties promising a win-win for both taxpayers and the Government.

On June 05, 2020, RippleNamiĀ® Uganda and the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development (MoFPED), signed an agreement for the former to deliver the Rental Tax Compliance System (RTCS). 

The system is a blockchain data visualisation platform that will integrate various types of data from selected government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), matching properties in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area to their true individual or corporate owners within the URA tax register.

Additionally, RippleNami Uganda will use the collected data and on-ground teams to classify the nature of occupancy, i.e., whether a property is owner-occupied or rented.    

RippleNami will also provide a digital address for each property identified for ease of reference.

Apart from URA, other participating MDAs include the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Kampala Capital City Authority, National Identification, and Registration Authority, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, National Information Technology Authority, Uganda Communications Commission, and the Ministry of Local Government.

“RippleNami is thrilled to partner with the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development as well as other participating government MDAs spearheaded by URA to implement the world’s first-ever modern tax system that leverages blockchain technology – the Rental Tax Compliance System,” said Jaye Connolly-Labelle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ripplenami, Inc, a company affiliated with RippleNami Uganda.

“At RippleNami, we are driven by the philosophy that a ripple of data turns into a tsunami of actionable information. The RTCS we are building, shall integrate the data silos in the various MDAs and store the data securely leveraging Hyperledger blockchain technology. The RTCS shall make it easier for the Government to make data-driven decisions, not just for modern tax administration, but also for a wide range of other decisions necessary for better planning and enhanced service delivery,” she added.

Jaye Connolly-Labelle, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ripplenami, Inc, a company affiliated with RippleNami Uganda

John Rujoki Musinguzi, the URA Commissioner General, said the RTCS is part of a range of technologies that URA is implementing to improve efficiency and service delivery as well boosting voluntary compliance and ultimately increase revenue generation.

“The RTCS will help us settle the long-standing complications in identifying the right landlords of these properties we see around and what income is likely to be coming out of such properties. It is one of those projects that will cause a win-win situation for everybody by ensuring that all landlords who earn rental income contribute their fair share to the revenue basket. This will also create a level playing field in the real estate market, because non-compliant landlords, will no longer be able to underprice their space to the disadvantage of compliant landlords,” he added.

Under the Income Tax law, individual landlords earning more than sh2.8m annually, are liable to pay 20% rental income tax, after allowable deductions. 

Non-individual landlords pay 30% of the chargeable rental income earned after removing allowable deductions.

RippleNami Uganda officials, meet with officials from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), and National Information Technology Authority- NITA-U

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