The Uganda Revenue Authority-URA has rallied manufacturers and is willing to listen to manufacturers who are facing several challenges on tax compliance.
Sarah Chelangat, Commissioner Domestic Taxes General revealed this while presiding over the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Uganda Supermarket Owners Association (USOA) and the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) on Friday.
Chelangat, who oversaw the signing together with David Bahati, the Minister of State for Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives (Industry), said the tax body maintains an open-door policy and urged the traders in attendance to make use of it.
“We want to engage and listen to you; all doors are open; it’s our core mandate to educate and sensitize taxpayers,” Chelangat said.
She also commended the work being done by manufacturers and supermarket owners in promoting Uganda’s economy. This, she said, is boosting the country’s GDP. She encouraged them to keep track of their transactions to expedite the refund process.
In his remarks, the Honorable Minister called for a brain shift among manufacturers, asking them to start producing and selling to the greater African market under what he termed as shifting from BUBU to BABA, “Buy Africa and Build Africa.”
“Today, Uganda has 46 million people; in 2050, we shall be at 100 million people, but as a continent, Africa has 2 billion, and by 2050, the population is projected to be 2.5 billion. “How about we prepare to serve such a wide market rather than concentrating on Buy Uganda, Build Uganda alone?” Bahati cautioned.
Bahati tasked URA and UNBS to ensure fast business facilitation processes, especially for VAT refunds.
“If you delay someone’s refund, this money could have been used for reproduction, hence increasing economic growth, ” Bahati said.
Dr. Dan Tindiwensi, Chairperson of the Supermarket Owners Association, applauded URA for the new direction of engaging taxpayers.
“URA has chosen to listen; Musinguzi’s leadership has really transformed URA; my prayer is that they continue listening.” He asked for changes to the withholding tax saying it challenges distributors.
The MOU signed between the two entities is aimed at harmonizing their working relationship, promoting locally manufactured goods, and having standardized dealings with the URA.