August 14, 2023

By Kabahweza Kamugisha Allan

In a meeting held recently, John R. Musinguzi, the Commissioner General of URA cautioned car importers against altering with the year of manufacture on imported motor vehicles.

Musinguzi’s advise follows the impounding of several vehicles whose year of production had been altered by some car importers to get around the limitation on the importation of cars older than 15 years.

He pointed out that altering the year of manufacture amounts to smuggling, and URA could be accused of abetting crime, which is a case answerable in court.

“When you manipulate the year of manufacture and import cars that are contraband or expired by law, you put URA in a difficult position of participating in the breaking of the law by importing contraband,” said Musinguzi.

He went on to advise the importers not to bring in any more prohibited vehicles.

During the meeting, concerns were raised around the variances in value guidelines, tax payment at the port and registration in the bond, and audits by different URA departments.

Musinguzi reassured the importers that URA will coordinate the audits and conduct a combined, complete audit with the participation of pertinent departments in order to prevent repeated audits. He further stated that customs would update the motor vehicle database on a regular basis and urged importers to always make use of fresh data for the database.

“These issues of audits will be harmonized to have one audit on a company, and officers from Domestic Taxes, Customs, and Tax Investigation will do one comprehensive audit jointly,” he emphasized.

He added that URA is improving its processes and systems to make them transparent and easy for taxpayers.

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