Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd, BetPawa, a betting company, and Bank of Baroda were the best-paying tax-paying companies in FY 2022/23 according to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
At the 10th Taxpayer Appreciation Season Awards gala, URA awarded a total of 22 companies and individuals best taxpayers for their significant revenue contributions to the government coffers.
"We understand that paying taxes is not always an easy task, and we acknowledge the sacrifices many of you make to fulfill this responsibility. Your dedication does not go unnoticed...In addition to funding essential services, your tax payments contribute to the stability and growth of our local economy. They provide the resources necessary for job creation, innovation, and the development of a thriving business environment. Your commitment to financial responsibility not only benefits the community today but also lays the groundwork for a sustainable and prosperous future," said URA Commissioner General, John R. Musinguzi.
Coca-Cola bagged the top most award, the Excel Award, and was followed by Chop Gaming Ltd which trades as BetPawa in Uganda. Chop Gaming is owned by popular Nigerian singer, Mr Eazi aka Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade. The third most tax-paying company in FY 2022/23 according to URA was Bank of Baroda (U) Ltd.
Medium Taxpayer of the Year Award went to Education Development Center Incorporated which employs over 330 Ugandans and duly remits their PAYE (Pay As You Earn) taxes according to URA.
The Vantage Award recognizes compliant taxpayers countrywide within the 4 regions, and MildMay Uganda Institute of Health Services which has been in the country since 1998 emerged top in the Central Region. The Individual category was taken by Darshan Mehta Mukesh.
In the Kampala Metropolitan region, Uzima Chicken Limited was the best taxpaying company, and Chetan Kumar Dattani the best tax-paying individual.
In Northern Uganda, Restore Leadership High School Ltd was the top taxpaying company while in the individual category was Richard Canopwonya Lander. In the West Nile region, Noble Unit (U) Ltd bagged the company category while Khemis Yunus, the 'landlords' landlord' in Arua City along Adumi road took the individual category and was also recognized for tax compliance since October 2016.
Give Directly, an American Incorporated NGO that has been in the country since 2013 was recognized for its direct role in reducing poverty by providing financial assistance to the most-in-need Ugandans, particularly in Karamoja emerged winner in the northeastern region while Wilbred Ogera Ochabal took the individual category award.
In the eastern region Kach-ap Global Forwarders Ltd while Wilson Mayamba bagged the individual award. From Midwestern it was Erianah Glass Matt & Hardware - SMC Ltd while in the individual category, it was Govind Pinoriya Khimji. In southwestern Uganda Church of Uganda Kisiizi Hospital was the top tax-paying company while Benard Mugarura was the best tax-paying individual.
Govind Pindoriya, a real estate mogul who also runs Jotika Hardware in the oil capital of Hoima was awarded for issuing e-receipts upon every purchase at his shop. The Strategic Partner award went to Grant Thornton Uganda and Ankole Diocese Bishop Rt Rev Assoc. Prof. Sheldon Mwesigwa.
The awards gala ceremony was presided over by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and Finance minister Matia Kasaija. Nabbanja said whereas it is the duty of the government (through URA) to collect taxes, this duty also comes with the responsibility to account for the collected revenue and the activities for which they were used in a transparent way.
"The taxpayer should know how their money is being used, and indeed, they have a right to demand services from the government. This is a key element of governance, accountability and service delivery to the public. I want to assure you that the government is committed to supporting you by ensuring that the revenue collected is properly utilized," she said.
Kasaija said anybody who is in the tax bracket and does not pay taxes is an enemy of himself or herself. He appreciated the compliant taxpayers for honouring their civic duty of continuously paying taxes efficiently and effectively hence contributing to continuous economic growth and development.