URA clear air about alleged impounding of tax exempted medical equipment

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, News

Tax body, the Uganda Revenue Authority has denied impounding medical equipment that were destined for this country as reported by a section of media.

Last week, media was awash with reports that the tax body had impounded shs 8 billion equipment destined for Rakai General hospital after one of their officials was denied a shs 360 million bribe despite the equipment being tax free.

However according to Ian Rumanyika, the acting Assistant Commissioner Public and Corporate Affairs at URA, ABA foundation from the US imported a container that was said to be carrying medical equipment and deposited at their warehouse pending clearance as the due process is.

“Quoting the customs procedure code (CPC) 472, the importer requested for an exemption for the items among them blankets, orthopedic medicines, bed sheets, wheel chairs, feeding tubes and bladder protection pads among others,”Rumanyika said.

“However, on routine inspection, non -medical equipment which are not tax exempt including dolls, used shoes, clothes and belts were found in the container.”

According to the tax body, the consignment was seized for the anomaly mis-declaration and misuse of the customs procedure code but the importer allegedly refused to sign the seizure notice.

“We offered to release the tax exempt items and thereafter issue an assessment for the other items but the importer insisted on having the entire container with all contents tax free.”

The tax body says that after verification, the consignment including taxes was valued at shs 21 million before it was withheld at a bonded warehouse in Kampala.

Asked to comment on allegations of requesting for a bribe by one of their officers, the acting URA spokesperson said these were baseless rumours that were unfounded.

“We condemn the manner and behaviour of the taxpayer spreading malicious propaganda and falsehoods in the media against the institution and its staff instead of taking responsibility for the offence,”Rumanyika urged.

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