CLOSED: Reporting on tax policies and practices

The Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI-Uganda) and Africa Center for Media Excellence (ACME) are jointly organising a media training with theme: “Strengthening Media Oversight and Reporting on Tax Policies and Practices”.

The overall objective is to strengthen media oversight and reporting on taxation policies and practices. The training will take place from Tuesday 3rd – Thursday 5th October 2017 at ACME.

Deadline for applications: September 27

Number of spaces available: 15

Workshop Background

The importance of taxation to any economy cannot be overstated. It plays the traditional roles of raising government revenue, redistributing wealth and income and allocation of resources among the population. Another purpose of taxation is to address negative social behaviour for example: tobacco is taxed, to discourage smoking. Taxation has the potential of ensuring good state-society relations and representation through accountability and good governance which ultimately strengthens the social contract between governments and citizens. The government of Uganda is working towards raising the tax to GDP ratio (presently at 13.5%) by 0.5% each year, but so far this has not been realised. The government has therefore amended the tax laws and introduced technical measures to improve revenue collection and administration, involving more control and internet-based actions. However, increasing the percentage further in a fair and just way, still remains a challenge with the fact that the taxpayers have limited say in how they are taxed.  Taxation in Uganda is still perceived by common citizens as complex and an issue best left to experts. A study conducted by SEATINI Uganda established that Uganda is faced with a number of challenges in raising revenue and these include the following:

  1. The biggest population of the workforce is found in agriculture or in small and informal enterprises which makes it difficult to impose taxes
  2. Tax evasion and avoidance practices contribute greatly to shrinking the country’s tax base
  3. The limited capacity of revenue collecting agencies both at central and local levels.
  4. Poor quality of basic taxpayers data

All these challenges are compounded by a general limited discussion among the different stakeholders (Government, Civil Society, Media and the General Public) on tax issues and the contribution that taxes have on poverty eradication and sustainable development. Also, vast resources are ‘lost’ through taxes that are not collected, but are either avoided, evaded or simply never find their way into the treasuries. Therefore in order to realise increased income and wealth among citizens, the tax debate and discussion should go beyond policy makers and government and have citizens at the forefront.

Media is important in promoting transparency and accountability by bringing out taxation and governance issues into the public domain. The media can play a pivotal role in raising awareness on tax matters and provide a platform for citizens to express their views and promote good governance in the way tax revenues are managed.

It is with this in mind that ACME and SEATINI are partnering to train 15 journalists to increase their awareness on tax policy processes at local, national level and regional level and also increase awareness on the role of media in relation to taxation and development.

Specifically, the training will enable participants:

  • Understand taxation policies and processes at local and national level
  • Understand and appreciate the role of media in taxation processes
  • Equip participants with skills on reporting issues of taxation

How to apply

Submit your application by email to training@acme-ug.org with the subject line: Application for training workshop on taxation.

The application should include the following;

  • One work sample on taxation
  • A biography of no more than 200 words.
  • A brief statement of no more than 250 words explaining how deepening your journalistic understanding of taxation will contribute to your professional development and that of your media house.
  • A letter of support from your editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.