URA engages small Scale manufacturers to ease compliance

The Uganda Revenue Authority on Tuesday engaged taxpayers under the umbrella of the Small-Scale Industries Association (USSIA) on matters of compliance, business formalization, and the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS), amongst many other things.

USSIA is a non-governmental organization that promotes and develops small-scale value-added industries. With about 45 years of existence in the country, the lobbying body consists of over 6,000 members and 146 registered SMEs that have completed over 500 profit-making business projects.

This undoubtedly makes these SMEs cardinal players in Uganda’s business community.

Mukundane Michael, a tax literacy officer, implored the current and prospective small business proprietors camped at UMA showgrounds to formalize their businesses.

“One of the first and foundational elements of a business is its identification. Every business owner must have a tax identification number,” said Mukundane before he added, “This helps in the interaction between you and URA.

Lodia Vicky, a tax literacy officer based at Boulevard, shared a step-by-step exposition on the EFRIS system. She demystified the system, saying that it was merely a solution and not a tax imposed on the taxpayer.

“The solution also helps you keep your records safely; every transaction you make is saved. This in turn helps you track your stock and, as such, become efficient at your business transactions,” said Lodia as she shared the benefits of using EFRIS.

The entrepreneurs were also tipped on the taxation of the agricultural sector, and in the process, Mukundane broke the myth that existed amongst the people, suggesting that farmers are immune to income tax.

“Agriculture, as any business, requires commercial farmers to pay income tax on the agribusinesses,” said Mukundane. “If you are a commercial farmer, it is prudent to set aside a portion of the income you receive from a specific product sale to pay taxes to the government,” he added.

Speaking at the engagement, Elizabeth Semazzi, an entrepreneur who plies her trade in non-diary milk products thanked the revenue establishment for always creating time to engage with budding business people. She believes this is the practical way of weeding out ignorance from society.

This engagement is just one of the several other workshops and outreaches that the Taxman constantly convenes to nurture a more compliant and tax-aware generation with a comprehensive understanding of not just their tights but also their responsibilities.

According to Michael Masembe, the Ag. Manager of Tax Education at URA, the engagements with taxpayers are beginning to pay off.

“Our efforts have already started bearing fruit but it’s an ongoing process. Our purpose is that we will have raised a lot of awareness by the end of this quarter. Then we will allow the enforcement teams to step in and weed out any pockets of noncompliance.”

By Dismas Nuwaine

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