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Uganda Taxation System and the Canon Laws

Question: Is Uganda's tax system in line with the canon laws of taxation?

Answer: Yes.
The 'Canons of taxation' were first developed by Adam Smith as a set of criteria by which to judge taxes.

They are still widely accepted as providing a good basis by which to judge taxes.

Smith's four canons were:
1. The cost of collection must be low relative to the yield

2. The timing and amount to be paid must be certain to the payer

3. The means and timing of payment must be convenient to the payer

4. Taxes should be levied according to ability to pay

In line with Uganda’s tax system, taxes levied are economic i.e. cost effective, it costs less to collect the taxes than the tax revenue.

There is equity in the tax system because of the fair taxation in terms of horizontal and vertical equity.

In Ugandan tax system, there is certainty on the side of the tax payers.

This is so because most of the tax payers know how and when to pay for instance through notifications.

Finally, Tax and administrative reforms implemented have helped the Ugandan tax system to be in conformity with the canons of taxation.


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