The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has recently introduced a new USSD shortcode *285# in a move aimed at enhancing the accessibility and convenience of tax related processes. This innovative feature enables users to easily pay their taxes and access essential Tax Identification Number (TIN) services using their mobile phones.
Tax Identification Number (TIN) Services
The *285# USSD code stands out for its efficient provision of TIN services. Users can swiftly check the status of their TIN, verify its activation, and identify associated taxes, ranging from income tax to import and export duties. Accessing this information is straightforward – enter your email, phone number, or National ID Number (NIN), and your TIN details will be readily available.
Tax Payments: The new USSD shortcode simplifies the tax payment process. Users can either utilize an existing Payment Registration Number (PRN) or generate a new one, facilitating the payment of various taxes. This streamlined method is also applicable for landlords to pay their rental taxes promptly, ensuring their properties remain available in the market without inconveniencing tenants.
Benefits for Small Businesses: Small businesses, particularly those with annual sales between Ugx 10,000,000 and 150,000,000, can benefit from the USSD code’s functionality for paying presumptive tax. This ease of payment extends to specific sectors like Boda Boda and motor vehicle income tax.
Advantages and Limitations
The USSD application emerges as a user-friendly alternative to the URA website, addressing concerns about its speed and usability on smaller devices. The offline capabilities of the USSD application prove invaluable in areas with slow or limited internet access. However, it is essential to acknowledge its limitations, such as the session termination every 180 seconds and the potential non-toll-free nature of the USSD service, requiring users to have sufficient airtime for access.
While the URA USSD code enhances convenience, alternative options exist. Banks like Stanbic and mobile money services like MTN Mobile Money offer tax payment services through their applications, providing users with a range of choices based on their preferences and circumstances.