Indian forum welcomes move to tighten tax compliance

Members of the Indian Business Forum pose for a photo after deliberating on the post-budget conference in Bugolobi, Kampala last week. Photo / Stephen Otage 

What you need to know:

  • The Indian business community wants to be involved in the budget process so that their concerns are addressed promptly 

The Indian Business Forum says the various tax compliance measures government has introduced to increase the tax base are a step in the right direction.  

Speaking at the post-budget conference to explain to their members the key takeaways from the budget read last Thursday, Mr Manjit Kothari, the managing partner of Bakertilly, an audit firm, said government’s focus on widening the tax base through compliance measures such as EFRIS and digital stamps is more realistic than introducing new taxes because it is important to have compliance of existing tax provisions so that there is no tax burden on compliant taxpayers. 

“Government approach of widening the tax base through tax compliance is the most appropriate. We appreciate efforts to ensure there is a level playing field by ensuring compliance across the board,” he said, advising members of the Indian business community to take advantage of the new incentives to investors in manufacturing electric vehicles and specialised medical facilities.

However, Mr Rajesh Kumar, the director general of Indian Business Forum, said government, during the next budget cycle, should involve the Indian business community so that their concerns are addressed promptly. 

During the conference, the Indian business community raised several concerns, which Mr Kumar said would be presented to Ministry of Finance for consideration.  

Mr Solomon Okello, the audit manager at Bakertilly, said the Indian business community should take advantage of the growing population of the East African Community, which is a wider market as well as take interest in the oil and gas sector, which is expected to be a key growth driver in the years to come.

Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner General John Rujoki Musinguzi, said engagement with the traders has yielded positive results at a time when technology has become a key driver in tax administration.