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Uganda hires US mapping firm to improve rental tax collection

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An American company, RippleNami Inc has been contracted to help in the collection of rental tax in Uganda. The company will identify properties, their owners and link them to the URA tax identification number system, according to the ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

In a statement, the ministry says the company will combine information from various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for proper identification of individuals and corporations to determine how much they should pay, and provide a solution to improve income rental tax compliance, although the exact solution has not been named.

Finance says the “agreement follows continued tax evasion and under declaration of rental tax income. URA has been faced with low rental income tax collections over the years.” This is despite the fact that there are more houses occupied and people are paying rent on them. Finance minister Matia Kasaija said the company will start working in July and is expected to help the government realize more revenues from the sector. He urged the property owners not to feel agitated and think that the government is trying to squeeze them.

On its website, the company describes it’s as a mapping and visualization company that deploys data using blockchain technology. It says it will help in “identifying each country’s citizens, quantifying their collective assets and enabling a tax collection system through RippleNami’s blockchain platform.”

URA will be the primary end-user of information and reports generated by the rental tax compliance system developed by RippleNami, ministry of Finance says.

The company, according to the Ministry of Finance, will identify properties and assign them geo-addresses in accordance with internationally accepted standards and link the identified properties to their owners or the persons who earn income from those properties, cross-match the identified properties and their owners with the URA tax identification number (TIN) database.  

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