URA directs entertainers, artistes to get TINs

Fine or imprisonment. URA says failure for entertainers to get a TIN shall attract a fine of Shs3m or imprisonment. PHOTO / EDGAR R BATTE 

What you need to know:

  • Uganda Bureau of Statistics estimates that collectively, the services sector where entertainment belongs contributes Shs47.1 trillion to the economy, which points to potential of the entertainment sector as a key revenue contributor. 

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has directed all persons earning an income from entertainment activities to get Tax Identification Numbers (TINs), failure of which they risk paying fines and imprisonment.

In a December newsletter titled Taxation of entertainment events, URA noted that persons engaged in public entertainment, among which include, artistes, performers, authors, producers, promoters, event managers, recreational space owners, bar owners and hotel owners must get TINs to enable onward collection of taxes.

“All persons earning income from entertainment are obliged to register for taxes with URA. A TIN … acts as an account of a taxpayer,” URA noted, indicating that failure to obtain the same shall attract a fine not exceeding Shs3m or imprisonment of six years or both on conviction if the failure is done knowingly or recklessly.

However, URA also indicated that if the failure is due to ignorance, it will attract a fine of Shs1m or imprisonment or both on conviction.

Uganda Bureau of Statistics estimates that collectively, the services sector where entertainment belongs contributes Shs47.1 trillion to the economy, which points to potential of the entertainment sector as a key revenue contributor. 

The TIN, URA said will enable public entertainment event owners to withhold tax on payments and charge value added tax.

Withholding Tax applies to payments for both resident and non-resident entertainers generating income within Uganda.

Non-resident entertainers are charged Withholding Tax of 15 percent while resident entertainer are charged 6 percent.

In this case, the obligation to withhold tax is placed on the person making payments, among which include promoters, agents, event owner or such similar person irrespective of whether they are designated Withholding Tax agent or not.

On the other hand, URA indicated that value added tax on local public entertainment events is  rated at 18 percent with owners of entertainment events, whose annual turnover is Shs150m and above expected to register for value added tax.  

Taxes are filed to URA within 15 days after the end of the month the even was held, failure of which the person will be liable to a fine of Shs2m.

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