Masaka traders reopen shops but tax dispute hanging loose

Business
Masaka traders reopen shops but tax dispute hanging loose
A section of a shopping arcade with lock-ups shutdown

Traders in Masaka City have resumed business following a three-day lockdown in protest against the Electronic Fiscal Invoice System (EFLIS) for Value Added Tax (VAT) payments.

The protest, which commenced earlier this week, saw all shops in Masaka temporarily closed as traders voiced their grievances against the technological VAT payment system.

The Masaka City Traders Association (MACITA) spearheaded the protest, citing concerns over the EFLIS policy, which they argued would burden them financially.

During the protest, traders lamented that the system, implemented by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), had led to over-counting of their taxes, potentially resulting in financial losses for their businesses.

MACITA leaders decided to end the protest after three days but the issue appears not to be entirely resolved.

In a meeting with Kimanya Kabonnera division RCC Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi, traders reiterated their concerns regarding the taxation system, alleging that it required receipts for all transactions and deducted taxes even when receipts were unavailable.

Despite their frustrations, traders emphasized that their protest was not politically motivated but rather aimed at addressing genuine economic challenges faced by their businesses.

Seeking intervention, traders implored RCC Musaazi to convey their grievances to President Museveni, expressing hope for assistance in resolving their taxation issues.

RCC Musaazi assured the traders of his support and promised to advocate for their cause at the highest level of government.

Following assurances from local representatives, traders agreed to reopen their shops, emphasizing their willingness to continue protesting if their concerns remained unaddressed.

However, they emphasized the urgency of finding a resolution to their taxation challenges to prevent future disruptions to their businesses.

In the aftermath of the protest, traders reiterated their plea for assistance in resolving taxation issues, emphasising the financial losses they had incurred during the shutdown.

They called for swift action to alleviate their concerns and ensure the sustainability of their businesses.

As traders in Masaka resume business activities, their call for action on taxation issues underscores the importance of addressing economic challenges faced by small businesses.

With assurances from local representatives, traders remain hopeful for a resolution to their grievances, emphasising the need for ongoing dialogue and support to safeguard their livelihoods.

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