President Yoweri Museveni has insisted that the shs100,000 stamp duty on each of the professional licences or certificates will stay because it is one of the avenues for government to get revenue.
Under the Stamp Duty Amendment Bill, 2020 that was passed by Parliament in April and is awaiting Museveni to assent to, all professionals will have to pay stamp duty of 100,000 shillings on each of their professional licences or certificates, in addition to the annual membership and subscription fees they pay to the statutory bodies that regulate them or professional bodies of which they are members.
The professional bodies are however against the same and recently, the Uganda Law Society president petitioned the president over the same.
However, in a July,1,2020 response, the Principal Private Secretary to the president, Dr.Kenneth Omona on behalf of the president has told the ULS president that there will not be any review on the fees.
“Following your appeal to the president on the objection to the levy of shs100,000 as stamp duty payment of a professional licence or certificate, this office has made consultations and information obtained is that the stamp duty on payment of a professional licence or certificate was among the revenues for the financial year 2020/21 that were approved by cabinet and subsequently passed by cabinet,” Omona says in the letter.
He explains on behalf of the president that during the debate on the matter by cabinet, it was argued that the shs100,000 fee for professional bodies paid once a year at the time of issuance or renewal of licence or certificate is not in any way a burden.
“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to communicate the information to you,” Omona says in response to the Uganda Law Society president’s petition.
Professionals under their different bodies including lawyers, medical doctors, architects, veterinary doctors, surveyors and pharmacists recently asked the president not to assent to the bill arguing that the increase in stamp duty is a form of double taxation.