URA Engages Public on Budget Amendments, Implications

Tax body Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has Monday held a public dialogue focused at breaking down and expounding on the implications of the 2016/17 budget that was announced last week.

The half day engagement which transpired at Hotel Africana touched majorly on the tax amendments in domestic taxes, adiposity customs duty for cross border transactions among other issues.

URA’s Commissioner General Dorris Akol while opening the largely attended forum said there was need for the ordinary tax payer to understand the philosophy upon which the budget was drafted.

“The 2016/17 financial year budget is targeting inclusive growth with creation of more jobs and enhancing private sector productivity. This will improve Uganda’s balance of payment through value addition in the things we export, ” she noted adding that URA is undertaking measures to improve domestic tax registration of all those doing business.

Dickson Kateshumba the Commissioner in charge of Customs at URA gave an insight in new tax amendments saying VAT has been exempted from imported agro-processing, solar and transport equipment.

Similary, all goods manufactured within COMESA member states will not attract import duty with exception of lubricants, undernatured alcohol, steel products, electricals, paper products, diapers, fruit juices and soaps.

Health equipment such as hospital beds, refrigerators and items like maternity kits (mama kit), incinerators and blood collecting tubes have also been exempted from import duty to reduce disease spread and improve sanitation.

“The intention of keeping import duty on these specific items is to boost local industries by protecting them from unfair external competition. Taxes on wheat grain and barley, buses for transport, heavy duty trucks for goods transport, solar equipment have also been cut to facilitate investment in emerging industries and increase use of renewable energy,” Kateshumba said.

Similarly he said amendments were made in the East African Community (EAC) common external tariffs. These have introduced import duty on hasked rice or brown rice (7 percent) and crude oil (10 percent) in a bid to boost local production in Kalangala and other areas.

However the budget made some tax increments on selected items such as petrol and diesel each of which will cost an additional Ugshs 100 per litre. Sugar will also be taxed Ugshs 100 from Ugshs 50 in the last financial year.

Others include motor vehicle lubricants (additional 5 percent), sweets (10 percent increment) and ready to drink spirits (10 percent increment). Rubber tyres, motorcycle kits for assembly and steel products have also had additional taxes.

The Commissioner for Domestic Taxes at URA Henry Saka speaking

The Commissioner for Domestic Taxes at URA Henry Saka speaking

Domestically, the new budget has effected tax changes as well. According to Henry Saka the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes at URA, goods supplied for foreign aid supported projects will be exempted from VAT as well as persons providing services under Business Processing Outsourcing.

“Stamp duty for letters of credit, caveats has been increased from Ugshs 5,000 to Ugshs 10,000. There’s has also been a 1 percent increase on exchange of property such as land,” he added.

Saka said that SACCOs (Savings and credit cooperatives) will have their tax arrears for the period before December 2015 waivered since most of them hadn’t been fully sensitized on their tax obligations.


Participants in the forum ranged from business people, civil servants, executives and the general public who hailed the Tax Authority for the engagement.


Header advertisement
To Top