No new taxes in next financial year – Kasaija

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija arrives at Kololo ceremonial grounds in Kampala for national budget reading on June 14, 2022. PHOTO/ DAVID LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • The minister said Parliament has made amendments to the various tax laws intended to simplify the laws, clarify previously ambiguous provisions and close loopholes that may lead to revenue leakage

No new taxes will be introduced in Financial Year 2022/23, finance minister Matia Kasaija has reechoed, arguing that government will achieve revenue targets by improving the efficiency in tax collection and enhancing compliance to tax  laws.

According to him, the capacity of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) will be enhanced by recruiting and training staff, deploying appropriate equipment and ICT to enforce tax laws.

 “I wish to report that Parliament has made amendments to the various tax laws intended to simplify the laws, clarify previously ambiguous provisions and close loopholes that may lead to revenue leakage. The amendments that have been made are in the Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax, the Stamp Duty Act and the Tax Procedures Act,” Mr Kasaija told MPs on Tuesday during national budget reading at Kololo ceremonial grounds in Kampala.

According to him, the corporate income tax exemption for Bujagali Hydro Power Project has been extended for one year up to June 30, 2023 in order not to increase electricity tariffs for power that the project generates.

“The income tax Act has been amended to streamline the rental income tax regime for individuals and non-individuals by introducing a zero rental income tax rate for individuals that earn annual rental income not exceeding  Shs  2,820,000  and  a rate of 12 percent of rental income exceeding that amount,” Mr Kasaija said.

For rental business, the minister said Income Tax Act has been amended to introduce a 30 percent  rental income tax rate on rental income with expenses capped to 50 percent for each year of income.

“”In addition, any excess expenses shall not be carried forward to a subsequent year of income,”he added.

Value Added Tax

Under the Value Added Tax Act, the following amendments have been made:-

i)         Exempted the supply of oxygen cylinders or oxygen for medical use to reduce the cost of the supply of oxygen for medical use;

ii)        Exempted the supply of assistive devices for  persons  with disabilities to reduce the cost of the equipment  used  by  persons with disabilities;

iii)       Exempted the supply of airport user services charged by the Civil Aviation Authority to reduce the cost of transiting through Entebbe Airport;

iv)       To allow for Cash Basis Accounting for suppliers who supply goods and services to Government to facilitate them to hedge against the risk of interest and penalties arising from delayed payments by Government; and

v)        Repealed the exemption on VAT on imported services used in the provision of an exempt supply to encourage business to use local suppliers of services such as Information and Communications Technological services.

Tax Procedures Code

The amendments under the Tax Procedures Code Act, include the following: -

i)         Introduced penalties for failure to provide information for purposes of Automatic Exchange of Information to improve compliance; and

ii)        Introduced penalties for failure to adhere to Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution and Digital Tax Stamps. This is intended to combat tax evasion, smuggling, and other vices.

Stamp Duty

104.    Under the Stamp Duty, the following amendments have been made: -

i)         Provide for NIL stamp duty on the following instruments;

a.         Agreements relating to the deposit of title deeds or personal property or goods to another as a pledge or as security for a sum of money borrowed.

b.         Agricultural Insurance Policy, to encourage the uptake of agricultural insurance services; and

c.         Security Bond or Mortgage Deed executed by way of security for the due execution of an office, or to account for money or other property received by virtue of security bond or mortgage deed executed by surety to secure a loan or credit facility.

ii)        Clarification of the rate of Shs15,000 applicable on the transmission of property from  the Administrator  of  an Estate to the Beneficiary.

Excise Duty

Under the Excise Duty Act, the Government has undertaken the following amendments: 

i)Clarification of definitions of various products that attract excise duty such as spirits and juices to enhance taxpayer compliance; and

ii)        Reduced excise duty applicable on opaque beer and fermented beverages made from locally sourced raw materials to 12 percent or Shs.150 per litre, whichever is higher. This is intended to promote value addition and the use of locally sourced  raw materials.