URA to open an operational office in the Kikuubo business area aimed at educating traders about EFRIS services

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URA to open an operational office in the Kikuubo business area aimed at educating traders about EFRIS services
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In January 2021, URA implemented EFRIS to tackle tax administration issues associated with business transactions and receipt issuance.

Since then, the authority has been trying to get the business community to adopt the system and Ugandans to get used to demanding fiscalized receipts. Despite success, reports indicate that some traders especially from KIKUBO Business lane who have acquired the Electronic Fiscal Devices or integrated with URA through the system-to-system approach are not fully using EFRIS for transactions.

Through a cooperative effort with the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) therefore, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has disclosed plans to establish an operating office in the Kikuubo business area aimed at educating traders about EFRIS services

The disclosure was made by URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi on Saturday during a joint press conference held at the PSFU offices in Nakasero.

“The purpose of the office is to dispense services to the taxpayers like return filing, issuance of E-receipts, spreading awareness, and bridging any knowledge gap between traders and URA,” he said.

The involvement came at a time when traders downtown were viewing Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solutions (EFRIS) as double taxation. Some of these traders have threatened to shut down their businesses and stage demonstrations in response to the URA's failure to resolve their grievances.

Musinguzi responded to this as false allegations, he however attributed the issue of double taxation to middlemen.

“There is nothing like double taxation. If anything, it is the exploitation of traders by middlemen who call themselves container leaders shipping goods from abroad,” Musinguzi responds.

“When they bring in the container and they are assessed, let’s say UGX 50 million, they then go and charge traders about UGX 100 million, and as such, they make off with excess monies,” Musinguzi explained.

Musinguzi further demystified the system, emphasizing that it is not a new tax but a technology that simplifies the collection of value-added tax (VAT) and aids traders in proper record-keeping and stock management, as well as issuing e-receipts and e-invoices.

Vice-Chairperson of PSFU Sarah Kagingo underlined the value of ongoing interaction in preventing interruptions and identifying long-term solutions.

“When there are demonstrations and violence on the streets of Kampala, it’s the business community that will suffer as their sales will drop and this in the long run will affect their compliance,” Kagingo noted.

The Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS) is an initiative under the Government Domestic Revenue Mobilization Strategy that was designed to manage the issuance and centralized tracking of all e-receipts or e-invoices, enforce the usage by all taxpayers required to improve business efficiencies, reduce the cost of compliance through improved record keeping among taxpayers and mitigate tax administration shortfalls while promoting efficiency.

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