Ministry of Trade PS Geraldine Ssali in Anti-Corruption court dock Ministry of Trade PS Geraldine Ssali in dock at the Anti-Corruption

Museveni to meet traders again this week over taxes

Business owners stand outside their closed shops during a traders' strike against what they term "unfair taxes and URA's Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) system on April 16, 2024 in Kampala. PHOTO/MICHEAL KAKUMIRIZI

What you need to know:

  • Isa Sekito, the spokesperson of Kacita said that they have hopes that the President will this time round addresses the issues that are affecting their businesses
  • Days after Mr Museveni ordered URA to waive Efris penalties against traders, the Authority implemented the directive which saw over 2000 traders benefiting.

President Museveni is expected to meet traders this Thursday to harmonise the implementation of the Electronic Fiscal Invoicing and Receipting Solution (Efris).
The President is expected to also update the traders on taxes on textiles and to conclude discussions on the threshold for Value Added Tax (VAT).

The meeting, to be held at Kololo Ceremonial Independence Grounds, is the third to be held in two months. It will be held a week after Mr Museveni unveiled a Shs72 trillion Budget for the 2024/2025 Financial Year.

Previous meetings
The President first met the traders’ leaders on April 19 following their weeklong sit-down strike where a section of traders in downtown Kampala and other cities had closed their shops protesting the rough implementation of Efris by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) , and what they termed as  unfair taxes. After  the second meeting, traders reopened their shops.

Another general meeting was held at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds on May 7, where traders raised their issues prompting Mr Museveni to, among others, order URA to waive these penalties and also stop forcing traders to buy the Efris machines but rather allow them to use their smart mobile handsets and printers that cost Shs150,000 to implement Efris.

The taxman rolled out the Efris, an automated compliance process, on January 1, 2021, mandating all Value Added Tax (VAT) taxpayers whose business makes more than Shs150m annual sales to enrol on it.

The system entails the use of Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFD), issuing e-invoices, e- receipts so that it is easy for URA to track real-time transactions. 
Speaking to this publication yesterday, Mr Isa Sekito, the spokesperson of the Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita), said that they have hopes that the President will this time round addresses the issues that are affecting their businesses.

“We have great hope for this meeting because the President is the one who requested to meet us, but when he met manufacturers, the message he posted on his X handle showed as if they had decided to leave the kilo tax which we won’t accept,” he said.
“After the meeting on Thursday, June 20,  with the President, we shall have our meeting on Friday June 21 [..[to] present what we have achieved and what has defeated us so as [to] decide the way forward as traders,” he said.

Days after Mr Museveni ordered URA to waive Efris penalties against traders, the Authority implemented the directive which saw over 2000 traders benefiting.