Following what they term as misleading media reports on the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has come out to clarify on the new system.
Ian Rumanyika, the acting commissioner for communication at URA, explained that EFRIS is a smart business-owned solution introduced by by the tax body to further facilitate taxpayers to maintain accurate records, keep track of their stock and generate business transaction reports instantly.
“EFRIS offers these benefits in four modules including registration, stock management, fiscal document management and reporting with the main aim of addressing business and tax administration challenges related to business transactions and the issuance of receipts to ultimately improve business efficiencies and reduce the cost of compliance,” he said.
He said when rolling out any new cutting edge technology-based solutions like EFRIS, there is usually unease and discomfort that streams from challenging the status quo coupled with the anxiety that comes with learning something new.
“We are cognisant of the need to enhance awareness for EFRIS and equally important is the need for taxpayers to take a moment to learn and appreciate the EFRIS system and the game-changing benefits it offers,”Rumanyika said.
According to Rumanyika, a business operator can connect directly to the system via the URA website or using the existing system in his or her business (system to system connection) to issue e-invoices or e-receipts.
At a later stage, Rumanyika noted that businesses will be able to issue similar e-invoices and e-receipts using Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs) and Electronic Dispenser Controllers (EDCs).
Regarding claims that the system has led to increased costs doing business with the notion that the taxpayer has to buy hardware and bring experts to support his/her EFRIS enrolment, Rumanyika said they picked lessons from their peers in the East African region where similar systems were implemented over 10 years ago.
He said that they learnt that the design of this system has to ensure low-cost implications for businesses.
“That is why for the case of Uganda, EFRIS provides options for web/phone and direct system connections, unlike our neighbours where it is compulsory for a business person to buy a fiscal device to issue e-receipts or e-invoices,”he said.
He further explained that EFRIS simplifies the process of declaring taxes adding that no wonder the first phase of implementing the system has been focused on Value Added Tax (VAT) clients who have strict record-keeping requirements when filing returns to URA in order to claim tax refunds or pay taxes due.
“EFRIS will in time ease the VAT return filing process. More importantly, taxpayers are now protected from fictitious invoices issued to them by unscrupulous business operators who have made them lose their input tax credits and tax refund claims in the past,”he said.
He stated that clients can verify (on the URA website or the Kakasa with EFRIS App) invoices issued to them to safeguard themselves from such losses.
“For invoices that are returned by the EFRIS system, the system highlights the problem on the invoice and notifies the taxpayer of the corrections needed (e.g. if a taxable item is presented as non-taxable),”he said.
Fundamentally, he said, EFRIS allows one to correct errors on his or her invoices and make adjustments with credit and debit Notes.
“We have designed EFRIS to take you less than 15 minutes to upload 80,000 items. The system is designed with a pick and drop capabilities and as such, one can upload over 2 million products on the system within 30 minutes. We will intensify EFRIS awareness to curb these knowledge gaps,”he noted.