Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has warned taxpayers against a spate of fraudsters masquerading as tax agents.
According to Commissioner Tax Investigations, some taxpayers are being intimidated by unscrupulous agents from accessing some URA offices on ‘bogus grounds’ that they will be arrested and others have used fake identity cards to impersonate URA staff.
“Some tax agents have gone further to impersonate as URA staff to confuse taxpayers on technical tax related issues,” the statement issued Tuesday reads in part.
“Some tax agents have also denied their clients access to their e-tax accounts by personalizing the passwords to their Tax Identification Numbers. These have also continued communicating with URA without consulting or updating their clients.”
The tax authority has also revealed that as part of the fraudulent dealings, some unscrupulous tax agents submit documents in customs declarations or tax returns that are fictitious. When they are queried, the taxpayers disown them while the tax agents allege that they were handed to them by the taxpayers.
To avoid such, taxpayers have been advised to officially appoint tax agents and keep evidence of all the documents availed to them, properly acknowledged and signed for by the tax agents for purposes of making tax declarations.
Under Section 14 (8) of the Tax procedure Code Act, 2014, the taxpayer is not relieved from performing any obligation imposed under a tax law that the tax representative of the taxpayer has failed to perform.
Taxpayers have however been advised to verify with URA whether their tax agents have handled their tax affairs correctly.