URA engages GCIC on the operation of EFRIS

The Uganda Revenue Authority’s tax education team met with officials from the Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC) to discuss the building components and operation of the Electronic Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS).

Hafsah Seguya, a tax expert at URA, clarified some of the misconceptions about the system. First, she made it clear that the EFRIS solution is merely a platform used for the issuance of electronic receipts and invoices.

She also spoke on the application of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and how it intersects with the receipting solution.

“A VAT-registered entity or trader has an annual turnover in excess of ugx150 million. These are mandated to use EFRIS and issue invoices according to the law,” said Hafsah.

This engagement follows a stir on social platforms, where people are expressing dissatisfaction with the implementation of the system. There is a general uproar from the trading community, especially in downtown Kampala, where a section of traders under the KACITA umbrella have closed their shops.

Marcella Karekye, the Director of GCIC, conceded that most of the misinformation about the operations of the EFRIS platform comes from online spaces. She pledged to consistently engage with citizens through their platforms on the operation of the receipting solution.

“We communicate for the government, and as such, we must have a comprehensive understanding of what we must advance to our people. Today, we decided to talk to the actual people to break down these matters, and this will shape our communication strategies,” said Marcella.

She also said that most media stations end up misinforming people by debating rumors fermenting on social media rather than seeking the actual truth and disseminating the same. She said, as a government mouthpiece, they would try to convince the audience.

During the discussions, Hafsah also demystified the double taxation rhetoric attributed to EFRIS, which has been making rounds on social media. She implored the public not to confuse the VAT tax with EFRIS.

“VAT is a consumption tax, paid on multiple stages irrespective of who is holding the item, right from the time the time leaves the factory,” said Hafsah, before she continued, “When a manufacturer is selling their goods to the distributor, they will invoice an amount inclusive of the 18% VAT. As such, they will have collected their VAT at that stage of the supply chain and then filed it accordingly. 

She continued, “The distributor of the goods sells to the area agent, which will charge an amount inclusive of 18%, and the area agent will do the same when supplying to hotels or supermarkets. The final consumer, therefore, bears the burden of the VAT.”

By Dismas Nuwaine

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