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Why EFRIS Benefits Both The Business Community & Gov’t

URA Commissioner General, John R. Musinguzi

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has explained why the Electronic Fiscal Reporting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) benefits both businesses and the Government.

“It is important to note that EFRIS is not an additional tax but a mechanism for real-time monitoring of business transactions, aimed to enhance transparency and efficiency in VAT collection and remittance,” URA says in a press statement dated 8th April 2024.

It adds: “EFRIS enhances record-keeping, streamlines tax filing and refunds, promotes fair taxation, and reduces revenue leakages, thereby contributing to a more robust tax ecosystem that serves the greater good of society.”

This follows recent concerns raised by certain sectors within the business community regarding the implementation of the EFRIS in Kampala.

Below is URA’s detailed statement;

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparent communication and fostering understanding, we wish to address recent concerns raised by certain sectors within the business community regarding the implementation of the Electronic Fiscal Reporting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) in Kampala.

The Kampala Capital City Traders Association (KACITA) and the Federation of Uganda Traders Association (FUTA) have expressed grievances over what they perceive as inequitable taxation practices enforced by the Government, particularly highlighting challenges associated with EFRIS adoption.

While we acknowledge these concerns, it is crucial to recognize the broader context and benefits EFRIS offers to both businesses and the Government.

Launched in 2019, EFRIS is a digital platform that facilitates the direct transfer of Value Added Tax (VAT) billing information between businesses and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

It is important to note that EFRIS is not an additional tax but a mechanism for real-time monitoring of business transactions, aimed to enhance transparency and efficiency in VAT collection and remittance.

EFRIS enhances record-keeping, streamlines tax filing and refunds, promotes fair taxation, and reduces revenue leakages, thereby contributing to a more robust tax ecosystem that serves the greater good of society.

Despite initial hesitance, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has diligently addressed  challenges faced by traders in the Central Business District (CBD), such as the lack of suitable channels and adequate sensitization.

The development of accessible applications, such as the EFRIS mobile app and desktop software, coupled with extensive training initiatives, we have equipped over 56,000 taxpayers—predominantly VAT registered—to seamlessly integrate EFRIS into their daily operations.

Since August 2023, our tax educators have been actively engaging with traders across the CBD, offering education on EFRIS. To date, we have successfully trained more than 20,000 taxpayers in the CBD, prioritizing those in the bustling Kikuubo area.

Furthermore, recent enforcement measures have revealed concerning levels of sales underreporting within the CBD.

Where EFRIS compliance is in place, reported sales have surged by over 500%, leading to a proportional increase in tax contributions.

This highlights the importance of transitioning towards a more transparent and accountable tax system. While we understand that change can be challenging, it is imperative for businesses to adapt to new technological advancements to ensure a level playing field and contribute towards Uganda’s economic prosperity.

Moving forward, we remain committed to supporting businesses in their transition to EFRIS compliance, while also providing specialized assistance and guidance to navigate the evolving business landscape.

Our aim is not only to enforce regulations but also to empower businesses to thrive in an increasingly digital economy.

We appreciate the constructive feedback from the business community and reaffirm our commitment to working collaboratively towards a more prosperous and equitable future for all.

Taddewo William Senyonyi
https://www.facebook.com/senyonyi.taddewo
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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