URA generously awards tax holidays

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URA Commissioner General, Doris Akol

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General, Doris Akol, says if all Ugandans paid a little tax, no one else would have to pay too much.

She was on Monday addressing the URA Annual Budget Breakfast at Hotel Africana-Nile Hall in Kampala.

The breakfast was attended by Members of Parliament, Mayors of Kampala, RDCS, URA Senior Management, and the former Katikiro of Buganda, Dan Muliika, among others.

“We believe that if everyone paid little (taxes), no one would have to pay much,” she said.

According to Akol, to support the development of SACCOs and the savings culture in Uganda, all SACCOS have been given a tax holiday for 10 years up to 2027.

Victoria University

Sacco’s are however still required to file income tax returns and pay PAYE and dividends paid to members is still taxable.

Every taxpayer is keen to understand the implications of the national budget that was read last week on Thursday by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

“We are trying to encourage ‘Buy Uganda, Build Uganda’ policy and that’s why we removed excise duty on furniture,” she said, adding, “Interest payable should not exceed the sum total of Principal tax & Penal tax to relieve taxpayers.”

Akol said to eliminate counterpart funding, government will not pay VAT on donor funded projects and as such, 15% has been re-instated on winning lotteries and betting is in addition to the 20% tax imposed by Lotteries Act on betting houses.

The change in rental tax is to be effected in collaboration with the Government Valuer to curb under declaration by landlords.

Introduction of initial allowance (Accelerated depreciation) for investments located in a radius of 50kms outside Kampala is aimed at promoting investment, encourage industrialisation upcountry and creating employment opportunities for the rural population.

She also announced an exemption of Bujagali Energy Limited from Corporation Tax for a period of 5 years to cut power tariffs.

There is a change in the excise duty regime for beer, wine, ready to drink spirits and soft drinks (including juices) from ad valorem to specific.

The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija, speaking on the event, announced a VAT exemption on menstrual caps to promote Girl Education.

Bodies that have been enacted by Parliament to regulate conduct of professionals, are also exempt from Income Tax.

The supply of wheat grain is standard rated to promote local wheat. Locally produced wheat is exempt.

Kasaija said most SACCOs are struggling and it is one of the reasons they are exempted from taxes this financial year.

“I’m here to thank you tax payers for supporting your economy and to thank URA for doing their job,” he said.

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