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Museveni maintains EFRIS but asks URA to be flexible with traders

EFRIS machine

EFRIS machine

President Yoweri Museveni has maintained the implementation of the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solutions (EFRIS) to collect value added tax (VAT) revenues.

Museveni, however, advised the tax body, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to suspend fines and penalties for non-compliant traders and instead encouraged dialogue between taxpayers and tax collectors.

This was the outcome of the long-awaited meeting between the president, and the business community, which was intended to solve concerns on the system which was rolled out by URA recently leading to the suspension of operations by the business community in Kampala.

In his address to the traders at Kololo Independence Grounds, Museveni observed that EFRIS was not the problem and instructed the tax body to meet leaders of the business community to solve inconsistencies that come with automation.

Museveni advised URA not to force the traders to use the EFRIS machine but rather be flexible and let the traders use cheaper options like mobile phone technology for the same reporting. This flexibility according to the president, should also extend to the payment period, to allow payments at the end of the financial year.

Museveni told the traders that the government’s high taxation policy on importation is deliberate, to discourage imports and encourage local production.

“Importation is taking blood out of our economy, for example, Uganda imports garments of up to $800 million, which is almost the money we make from coffee exports annually. But if you focused on products you would be adding blood, because all this money would be retained here, and create more jobs,” he stated.

As a follow-up, he proposed another meeting with the traders on June 20, at Kololo to hear what would have been agreed upon between the traders’ leaders and URA.

Ibrahim Bbosa, URA assistant commissioner for public and corporate affairs, informed that the authority is considering intensified sensitization of traders about almost taxation because many of them even didn’t understand VAT which has been levied for more than 20 years.

However, several traders were shouting in disagreement saying the meeting did not solve the problem. The traders said they expected the president to announce the suspension of the system. Thaddeus Musoke, KACITA chairperson, says they are going to meet with the traders and decide on a way forward.

Comments

-1 #1 kabayekka 2024-05-09 15:47
It seems many of these traders vote NRM. Otherwise they should organize to remove this long serving government from state power.

Much of what these traders are unhappy about is the lack of a referendum on many political issues. Like joining the East African union, income taxation, electoral laws etc.

NRM and only one person is the decision maker! And yet all citizens of this country pay tax and are all titled to decision making of where this country needs to move forward!
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0 #2 Uhuru 2024-05-17 08:16
People are just ignorant about digital payment systems. Most of our traders in Kampala cannot even construct a simple sentence in English.

How do you expect them to implement a digital payment system? Government should first focus on training of the traders.
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