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Traders Applaud URA‘s Move To Waive EFRIS Penalties

On Monday, URA commenced the exercise of waiving penalties it had imposed on VAT-registered taxpayers who failed to issue fiscalized receipts through the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS).

The exercise has been met with enthusiasm from taxpayers, with more than 700 flocking to the tax body to access the service.

Etau Christopher, the proprietor of Virunga Club in Bugolobi had his penalties waived yesterday. The businessman couldn’t hide his excitement as he expressed relief and vowed to comply going forward.

He also appreciated URA for the sensitization that he said helped him realize the mistakes he was making on EFRIS.

On the other hand, Joan Namagembe, a Kampala-based tax consultant asked URA to consider mass enrolment of all taxpayers onto the system to ensure fairness and leveling of the tax-paying field.

“This is a good opportunity to eliminate unfairness in the market, and it benefits everyone when filing returns,” she asserted.

She also called on the URA to check on landlords who are shifting the tax burden to tenants and manufacturers who selectively stamp their products.

“URA needs to take responsibility for ensuring that all manufacturers apply the digital tax stamp rather than selectively stamping goods before they are released. This will prevent unstamped goods from entering the market, rather than just focusing on goods in the shops,” Namagembe argued.

Upon completion of the waiving exercise, taxpayers are issued certificates by URA.

While handing over certificates to successful taxpayers yesterday, Sarah Chelangat, the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes, urged the traders to walk the journey of compliance, noting that tax can be a cost if not well managed.

She also addressed concerns about “forceful registration,” saying, “We shall consider this on a case-by-case basis because we might have taken a decision that doesn’t reflect your business transaction.”

Chelangat also tipped traders to leverage the withholding tax exemptions offered by the URA.

“I agree that the withholding tax is increasing the cost of doing business because 6% is quite significant. The window for this tax exemption is open. I encourage all of you to apply, and if you have not applied, kindly appeal because we normally grant exemptions for compliant taxpayers,” she stated.

She appreciated the taxpayers for sharing feedback, noting that it would help URA enhance EFRIS for the benefit of all stakeholders.

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