URA, musicians meet over TINs 

URA last week directed all people earning from entertainment activities to get TINs. Photo Edgar R Batte 

What you need to know:

  • Uganda Revenue Authority says all artists must get Tax Identification Numbers for onward tax collection  

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will, on January 13, meet stakeholders earning from entertainment activities to discuss a recent directive in which artists and entertainers, among others, are required to get Tax Identification Number (TIN) or risk fines, imprisonment or both. 

In a meeting held on Tuesday, URA and artists, under Uganda Musician Association (UMA), agreed that there was need to sensitise stakeholders on the directive before implementing fines and imprisonment measures as URA had indicated in its December newsletter titled Taxation of entertainment events.  

Mr Wamala Lumanyika, the URA acting manager public and corporate affairs, said URA and UMA had on Tuesday discussed at length to schedule sensitisation meetings to engage stakeholders in the entertainment sector on the importance of being tax compliant.

“Of course most of them are not opposed to the TIN and taxation of musicians. However, they indicated that we [URA] needed to have adequate training to different groups because some are informal, others are young musicians and may not have appreciated their obligation of paying taxes,” he said, noting that they will hold another meeting with events promoters today and another with UMA on January 13. 

“We are going to have a masterplan where different artists will be trained on different aspects such that we can enlighten them on their obligation to pay taxes,” Mr Lumanyika added. 

The meetings come on the back of concern, in which the public noted the lack of sensitisation in the face of directives from URA that indicated that those earning from entertainment activities must get TINs for onward taxation or risk fines or imprisonment. 
Must get TINs

At the close of last month, URA said that persons engaged in public entertainment such as artistes, performers, authors, producers, promoters, event managers, recreational space owners, bar and hotel owners must get TINs.

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

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

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.  

Ms Phina Mugerwa, the UMA secretary, yesterday told Monitor that the meeting had sought to have an understanding of issues and sit on a roundtable to talk about them amicably.

“URA informed us that they don’t have all the knowledge of the creative industry. So, we both agreed that artists are sensitized through UMA structures,” she said, noting that whereas musicians are not contesting payment of taxes, they need more awareness to understand a number of tax related issues.