Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has spoken out on allegations that it is killing businesses by retaining taxes paid for goods that are later destroyed over poor standards.
Appearing before the Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), Doris Akol, the URA Commissioner General said the tax body is sensitizing traders on their rights.
“For the people who have paid taxes and produce products not authorized by UNBS have an opportunity to seek refund for the taxes and they have to ask for that refund within 12months and it depends if the documentations are readily available, and others decide that instead of receiving their refund in cash, the money is instead used to pay other taxes,” Akol said.
Last week lawmakers on COSASE summoned Akol to appear before them to respond to concerns raised by over 3000 trader; they accused URA of losing their money in taxes for goods are later destroyed by UNBS over poor standards.
This was after MPs interfaced with Ben Manyindo, Executive Director at Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS.
In his explanation, Dr. Manyindo noted that UNBS works under Memorandum of Understanding with URA regarding importation of goods.
This prompted the Committee to summon Akol to shed more light on the matter and during her appearance before the Committee, she argued that even though URA works with other agencies, under the East African Customs Management Act, customs take precedence and are collected at the frontier since Uganda is operating under the single customs territory.
Akol told the Committee that goods that have failed to obtain a pre verification of exports certificate from the country of origin are red flagged. This is when UNBS comes in to verify the imports.
Asked by Nathan Itungo (Kashari North) to reveal the amount of money that has been refunded within the last two years, Akol asked for more time to furnish the Committee with the list of traders affected by the conformity test provision.