By Edwin Waiswa
The Uganda Revenue Authority –URA has announced new tax amendments that are aimed at promoting tax compliance, empowerment and enabling the nation to domestically fund its development needs without basing on foreign aid in 2023/2024 Financial Year.
They also intend to expand the existing taxes to cover unstoppable sectors or activities that need more eligible contributors to the tax net and reduce the burden on the existing tax payers.
The amendments are in line with realizing the budget theme: “Full Monetization of the Ugandan Economy through Commercial Agriculture, Industrialization, Expanding and Broadening Services, digital Transformation and Market Access.”
During the post budget engagement meeting that was held on Thursday 22. June at Virina Gardens in Kasese town, Mr. David Okwii, the Senior Economist at the Budget Directorate under the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development who was representing the Minister of Finance highlighted that depending on the finances from other countries has become expensive, a reason to why government wants to accelerate its economic growth in order to realize the budget of shillings 52.7 trillion, Kasese Guide Radio has learnt.
He also noted that among other interventions in the forthcoming financial year include using small scale power irrigation schemes to increase crop production despite the weather and climatic changes.
While presenting the customs tax amendments, Mr. Geoffrey Suizine Kawere, the Mid-Western Customs Regional Manager, highlighted that there were some taxes waived off on imports and others increased so as to encourage the consumption of locally produced goods within the country.
Mr. Kawere, listed that the duties imposed on the importation of starch foods like cassava and maize have been increased from 10% to 25% for only the forthcoming financial year so that the people should grow them and get good money out of them.
Others include, electric and hybrid motor vehicles that were exempted from payment of import duties, baby diapers increased from 25% to 35%, aluminum bars increased from 25% to 35%, eraser of rubber pencils waived from 10% to 0% among other changes.
Mrs. Irene Mbabazi Irumba, the Assistant Commissioner for Learning and Development who was representing the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes told the gathering that government has removed any interests and penalties on tax debts but on conditions that would be mandated to pay the principal tax before the close of this ending financial year on June 30, 2023. END