KACITA Uganda leads delegation to President Museveni over Tax Policies\

Thousands of traders, who had shut their shops in Kampala and other towns, called off their strike on April 20, claiming a tentative victory followin

g a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni. President Museveni agreed to delve deeper into the issues surrounding the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) and to suspend related penalties for one month while further consultations are carried out. The announcement marked the end, for now, of protests that erupted in opposition to the Uganda Revenue Authority’s (URA) push towards digital tax administration, aimed at enhancing tax collection.

URA executives argued that EFRIS, initially rolled out in 2021 targeting manufacturers and large businesses, is crucial for reducing tax evasion by ensuring accurate transaction records and the alignment of input and output tax, which would bolster the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio. However, this digital tax measure met strong resistance from traders in Kampala, Jinja, and Masaka, who feared it would jeopardize their businesses, prompting them to close their shops. The finance ministry’s attempt to call upon traders to open shops could not bear fruits.

For that, President Museveni met with 61 trade leaders, including Dr Thadeus Musoke, the leader of the Kampala City Traders Asso

ciation (KACITA) on April 19 in Entebbe.Museveni, on his X handle, said traders should for now continue to meet their usual tax payments while both parties work towards a permanent resolution. “I have asked the traders to give me time to research more and consult the technocrats on all the concerns they raised. I will then meet them all on 7 May 2024, at Kololo to discuss further,” Museveni tweeted.

He also directed URA to halt the issuance and recovery of penalties but emphasized that traders should maintain their regular tax contributions. “It is good they have agreed to open up their businesses as we continue to find solutions to the issues raised,” he added.