Uganda Revenue Authority and the Uganda Manufacturers Association have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to build synergies in pushing for tax-related reforms that promote the private sector and streamline relations between the two entities.
URA’s Commissioner General, John Musinguzi led a delegation that met members of the UMA advisory board to discuss tax-related issues and challenges manufacturers face in the course of doing business.
In this meeting that took place at the UMA head office in Nakawa, several strategic issues were raised, including intermittent tax policy reversals that they say continue to impair investment planning, informality in the economy, and the requirement to pay 30% of the tax in dispute when they lodge disputes at the Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT), among others.
UMA’s Board Chairman, Deo Kayemba, said that manufacturers face difficulties with ledger reconciliation, objections, penalties, fines, assessments, and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). He added that URA must engage taxpayers, and they believe that having an MoU in place will make it easier to resolve these issues.
In response, Mr. Musinguzi explained that the ongoing ledger reconciliation is meant to put URA and taxpayers on the same page since some information was lost during the transition to the new system.
“We are not looking for taxes that were not paid, but trying to have all ledgers on the new system and it is good for the taxpayer,” Musinguzi said.
He also revealed that URA has developed a Client Relationship Management system to handle taxpayer queries more efficiently. “We have enrolled a Client Relationship Management system that will track all requests sent to staff in order to serve you fast and we are bringing on board a USSD to help taxpayers easily remit their taxes,” he said.
Musinguzi lauded UMA for its support in revenue mobilization and advised the manufacturers to always engage URA in case of disputes before running to the Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT). He cited mediation, one of the methods of ADR that allows a taxpayer to handle tax disputes with URA outside court.
Kayemba thanked URA for their excellent work in tax education and advocated for more positive engagements to raise taxpayer awareness.
The parties at the bilateral meeting agreed to hold regular meetings to resolve strategic and operational issues.
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