Impact of Tax Compliance Enforcement Initiatives in Uganda: case Study of the Value-Added Tax Fraud Campaign

Author: Micah Samuel Gaalya

ISSN: 2709-8575
Affiliations: Uganda Revenue Authority
Source: African Multidisciplinary Tax Journal, 2023 Issue 1, p. 331–347


By utilising the economic deterrence theory of tax compliance the study establishes the impact of a VAT fraud campaign on taxpayer behaviour in Uganda. The study employed grouped matching difference-in-differences in regressions. We used monthly time-series data for 563 taxpayers for the period 2017–2018. The data was acquired from the Uganda Revenue Administration (URA) database. The results show that there was a small improvement in compliance behaviour over a timeframe of one year after the implementation of the VAT fraud campaign. Return filing increased by 35 per cent, timeous or on-time filing increased by 5 per cent and non-filing decreased by 3 percent. The policy implications are that the URA should put more effort into improving return filing since this should lead to important behavioural change. In addition, the URA should design specific risk treatment strategies targeting late and non-filing. Lastly, future compliance risk mitigation strategies should be focused on specific sectors where lessons learnt can easily be replicated in respect of different taxpayers within a given sector.