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Traders Agree to Reopen Businesses as Museveni Temporarily Suspends URA Penalties

He advised traders to continue paying their taxes as they have been, despite suspending penalities.

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President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has temporarily halted the issuance and recovery of penalties imposed by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) on traders to facilitate further consultations and address their concerns. He also advised traders to continue paying their taxes as they have been.

The decision comes in response to a strike by traders who closed their businesses in protest against URA’s Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS).

President Museveni held a meeting with leaders of traders from Kampala and other parts of the country at State House Entebbe to discuss the taxation tensions between the tax authority and traders, with the main concern being the EFRIS system.

Museveni assured traders that he would conduct his own research and engage with experts from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and URA on April 24, 2024, to gather further input. Following these consultations, he will meet with all traders on May 7, 2024, at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.

Given these assurances, trader leaders agreed to reopen their businesses while continuing discussions with the government. Museveni praised the traders’ willingness to resume operations to facilitate the discovery of solutions to their concerns.

The president acknowledged that the tax on textiles, which is based on weight (in kilograms), is high. He also highlighted the challenges faced by traders when manufacturers engage in wholesale and retail, leaving limited opportunities for other traders. He observed that the EFRIS system, deemed unsuitable by many traders, leads to penalties when not used.

Museveni noted the request of raising the VAT threshold, currently set at an annual turnover of Shs 150 million. He also posed questions to the traders about their intentions to support the Ugandan economy and their impact on the country’s trade balance.

The delegation of 61 leaders was led by Mr. John Kabanda, head of the Federation of Uganda’s Traders Associations (FUTA), and Dr. Thadeus Musoke Agenda, leader of the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA).

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