More than 40 companies dealing in Kombucha products, Juices and Spirits have been penalized for failure to affix tax stamps. The culprits of these products where mainly discovered in the regions and some suburbs in Kampala. Reason: They had escaped the wrath of the Taxman in the Kampala and moved to the regions where they would freely produce and distribute their products without stamps.
However, because of the need to ensure that all eligible taxpayers contribute their fair share of tax, the URA team is on ground to enforce compliance.
According to Robert Amanya, the Ag. Manager DTS all the manufacturers that have been penalized for selling un stamped goods will pay not less than
UGX 50 million to have their goods released.
“We always engage them [manufacturers], listen to them and sign agreements before penalizing. Those that continuously don’t comply, we go ahead and prosecute them,” Amanya explained on failure to comply with DTS.
Edward Luande, the DTS Supervisor Enforcement explained that URA has piled a number of unstamped goods in their stores that manufacturers have failed to claim. This will leave URA with no option but to dispose or auction them.
Amanya also revealed that despite a few non-compliant manufacturers, there has been an increase in registrations. Currently, more than 900 taxpayers have affixed stamps o their products.
Some of the recently impounded products piled in the URA stores
More engagements are being made to ensure total compliance with DTS regulations and procedures. URA, therefore, encourages the Manufacturers of gazetted products to collaboration to avoid enforced compliance.
Meanwhile, DTS is a solution that enables tracking and tracing of a product right from production or importation through distribution to consumption. It provides for the application of Digital Tax Stamps by manufacturers/importers using both manual and automated processes of production, and the verification of products from the factory/importation to the point of sale. The stamps are physical in nature and are applied on goods or their packaging containing security features such as codes for the purposes of fighting counterfeits and allowing for the tracing of goods. The initiative is intended to combat the trade of illicit, substandard or counterfeit products, protect consumers against harmful products, encourage fair competition in the market, and increase government revenue to plan for this country.
Currently, there are 13 gazetted products for DTS and the implementation has been in a phased manner. The products include; Beer, Soda, bottled water, wines, spirits, tobacco products, sugar, and cement. From May 1st, 2022 other products added were; cooking oil, fruit and vegetable juices, non-alcoholic beverages (kombuchas, teas and health drinks, bushera), alcoholic beverages and fermented beverages (cider, mead, perry or other form of beers).
Taxpayers are therefore encouraged to register for the DTS: procure tax stamps and affix them on their products to avoid penalties which can be detrimental to one’s business
Additional Reporting by Immaculate Wanyenze
By Kamugisha Kabahweza